1997 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security
S. Hrg. 105-383
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
46-491 cc WASHINGTON : 1998
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Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont
SLADE GORTON, Washington DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas
MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
CONRAD BURNS, Montana TOM HARKIN, Iowa
RICHARD C. SHELBY, Alabama BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, Maryland
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire HARRY REID, Nevada
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado PATTY MURRAY, Washington
LARRY CRAIG, Idaho BYRON DORGAN, North Dakota
LAUCH FAIRCLOTH, North Carolina BARBARA BOXER, California
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
Steven J. Cortese, Staff Director
Lisa Sutherland, Deputy Staff Director
James H. English, Minority Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
Statement of Janet Reno, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney
General, Department of Justice................................. 1
Opening statement of Hon. Ted Stevens............................ 1
Statement of Hon. Judd Gregg..................................... 2
Summary statement of Janet Reno.................................. 2
Administration's strategy........................................ 2
International cooperation........................................ 3
Training strategy................................................ 4
Prevention of terrorism.......................................... 4
Congressional involvement........................................ 5
Prepared statement of Janet Reno................................. 5
Statement of Louis J. Freeh, Director, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Department of Justice........................... 8
Reducing vulnerabilities through preparation..................... 9
Source of terrorism.............................................. 10
Domestic terrorism............................................... 10
FBI roles and responsibilities................................... 10
Prepared statement of Louis J. Freeh............................. 12
Statement of George J. Tenet, Acting Director, Central
Intelligence Agency............................................ 19
Prepared statement of George J. Tenet............................ 22
Working technology............................................... 23
Communications assistance for law enforcement activity [CALEA]... 24
Coordination and cooperation..................................... 25
Security measures................................................ 27
Prosecution of crimes............................................ 28
Olympic lessons learned.......................................... 29
Internet excerpts................................................ 29
Prepared statement of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State,
Department of State............................................ 30
Multiple agency coordination..................................... 33
Intelligence collection.......................................... 34
Evidence development............................................. 35
Translation centers.............................................. 36
Terrorist threat................................................. 37
Integrated force training........................................ 37
Organized crime.................................................. 38
Defense budget................................................... 38
Counterterrorism support......................................... 40
Standards and guidelines......................................... 41
Enactment of laws................................................ 42
Additional committee questions................................... 43
Federal Bureau of Investigation.............................. 44
Questions submitted by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg........... 44
Illegal fundraising...................................... 44
Questions submitted by Senator Harry Reid.................... 44
Terrorism threat......................................... 44
TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1997
Committee on Appropriations,
The committee met at 1:58 p.m., in room SD-192, Dirksen
Senate Office Building, Hon. Ted Stevens (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Stevens, Cochran, Specter, Burns, Shelby,
Gregg, Bennett, Campbell, Craig, Hollings, and Reid.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Office of the Attorney General
STATEMENT OF JANET RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL
opening statement of hon. ted stevens
Chairman Stevens. We will break a record and start our
hearing early for a change. Thank you all for coming.
The incident 3 weeks ago at the world headquarters of the
Jewish organization B'nai B'rith right here in Washington, DC,
and the protracted siege of the residence of the Japanese
Ambassador in Lima, Peru, are troubling signs that extremists
are prepared to take American lives to advance their purposes.
We have had a series of events in our own country that we all
know about, the World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City
bombing, we have also had overseas activity such as the Khobar
Towers incident. We could go on with a long list. What we have,
however, is an issue that has tremendous impact here at home,
and we believe that Americans are starting to feel vulnerable,
not just from what is going on around the world but right here
in the United States.
In the context of these tragedies, which we are all too
familiar with, our committee is concerned that we do not have
an adequate comprehensive strategy when combating domestic and
international terrorism. Senator Gregg has requested that we
hold this hearing today. We want to ensure that our efforts are
given the highest priority; that they are coordinated with the
many participating domestic agencies and foreign governments,
both in terms of planning and resources, and we would like to
be able to move forward with you to help come to grips with
this very critical issue in our country.
We want to provide the funding that is necessary to combat
terrorism, and we appreciate your coming here to be with us
Do you have an opening statement, Sir?
STATEMENT OF HON. JUDD GREGG
Senator Gregg. I would just like to thank the chairman for
initiating this hearing. It is, I think, an important hearing.
What we need to address is how we are anticipating potential
terrorist events and whether or not we have adequate
coordination between the various agencies. There are an awful
lot of them that are involved in protecting this country from
terrorist action. I believe that this committee has the unique
capacity to bring all these agencies together, having oversight
over all of them from the appropriations standpoint, and,
therefore, I appreciate the chairman's being willing to hold
Chairman Stevens. Madam Attorney General, Director Freeh,
and Director Tenet, we are pleased to have you here. We are
going to open this hearing in a public session, and then we
would ask that you go with us to a classified area later to
talk about some things that we would like to make sure of
before we handle the appropriations bills this year. We would
be pleased to have your statement.
SUMMARY STATEMENT OF JANET RENO
Ms. Reno. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Senator Gregg. We
very much appreciate this opportunity, and it is my privilege
to be here before you today for the purpose of discussing with
you our efforts to combat terrorism. The protection of our
Nation and its people from acts of terrorism is a matter of the
highest priority. American citizens and interests, both at home
and abroad, are targets of choice of international terrorists.
Further, the risk of terrorism within our borders does not
result solely from grievances imported from overseas as,
increasingly, acts of terrorism are perpetrated by disaffected
Whatever the origin or misguided motivation of the
particular terrorist, the potential consequences of a single
incident can be enormous. We must never forget the magnitude of
human suffering that flows from acts such as Pan Am 103 and the
World Trade Center. As weapons of mass destruction become more
accessible, we face the potential of even more catastrophic
The challenge that terrorism presents to a free society is
that we must endeavor to hone our skills and techniques sharply
enough to prevent terrorist acts while respecting the
individual rights and liberties for which this Nation stands.
We have made much progress in the past several years,
successfully preventing a number of potentially deadly
terrorist attacks at home and abroad. We have demonstrated that
our commitment is unflagging and our memory is very long. But
more work needs to be done.
The administration's comprehensive strategy for meeting the
challenges presented by terrorism is detailed in the report
that I submitted to you earlier this month. The framework for
that strategy is contained in the Presidential decision
directive 39, dated June 21, 1995. The PDD seeks to integrate
roles of pertinent Federal agencies in a comprehensive,
proactive program to prevent and to punish terrorist acts.
The policy of our Government in dealing with acts of
terrorism, both at home and abroad, is straightforward. First,
we seek to reduce the vulnerabilities at home and abroad. We
will do everything possible to deter and prevent terrorist
acts. When acts of terrorism do occur, we will respond quickly
and decisively with the full range of options that we have
available, including apprehension and prosecution. We will
develop an effective capability to detect, prevent, defeat, and
manage consequences of nuclear, biological, and chemical
material and weapons used by terrorists.
Let me explain briefly some of the means by which we seek
to accomplish these objectives. We seek to reduce our
vulnerabilities to terrorist attack, both at home and abroad,
by assessing the risk that terrorism poses and by taking steps
designed to prevent or minimize such risk. For example, the
FBI's new counterterrorism center is staffed with
representatives of 17 different agencies. With the integration
of the capabilities of these agencies, the FBI can now conduct
real time analysis and processing of information with the goal
of detecting and preventing acts of terrorism.
Additionally, a Presidential Commission on Critical
Infrastructure Protection has been created. It brings together
key representatives from both Government and the private sector
to assess vulnerabilities and to propose comprehensive national
policies and strategies. As part of this effort, an information
protection task force has been created. It is a multiagency
effort to identify and coordinate existing expertise and
capability in the Government and the private sector relative to
critical infrastructure protection. Consistent with that
effort, the FBI has established a Computer Investigations and
Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center.
The development of effective coordination among
counterterrorism agencies is a critical aspect of preparation.
PDD-39 facilitates such coordination by delineating the
appropriate roles of Federal counterterrorism agencies.
Similarly, the FBI has created 14 joint terrorism task forces
which integrate Federal, State, and local law enforcement
authorities in particular localities. Further plans are
underway to involve State and local authorities in the FBI's
new counterterrorism center.
Moreover, I have directed that the FBI implement a
comprehensive effort to coordinate with State and local law
enforcement, owners and operators of critical infrastructure,
and State and local emergency managers to identify potentially
vulnerable facilities, critical infrastructures, and special
events, and to collaborate with these officials to develop
plans to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. I have asked
that clear lines of communication be established so that
relevant information can be quickly and accurately exchanged
among these individuals.
U.S. coordination also includes bilateral and multilateral
consultations and cooperation with foreign governments that
share our objectives in countering terrorism. Under the
leadership of the State Department we are working closely
within the context of the P-8, recently renamed the eight, to
improve coordination and to develop tangible measures to assist
in terrorism prevention and response.
Training is also a key element of the U.S. strategy to
reduce this Nation's vulnerability to terrorism, since an
effective response to a terrorist threat requires multiple
agencies to interrelate smoothly under extreme pressure.
Federal agencies involved in responding to acts of terrorism
regularly engage in realistic training exercises which
recognize the important role of State and local agencies.
Additionally, six Federal agencies, the FBI, the Department
of Defense, FEMA, the EPA, the Public Health Service, and the
Department of Energy are working cooperatively to provide
weapons of mass destruction training to State and local
emergency responders. This initiative will train emergency
responders in 120 cities throughout the United States, with the
initial 9 cities to receive training before the end of the
PREVENTION OF TERRORISM
The United States seeks to deter terrorism through broad
dissemination of a clear message that we will not allow
terrorism to achieve its objectives; we will not make
concessions to terrorists; we will vigorously apply our
criminal statutes to those who commit acts of terrorism
anywhere in the world; and we will endeavor to apprehend
terrorists wherever they seek refuge.
Further, the prevention of terrorism involves the
interrelation of U.S. intelligence and investigative
capabilities to detect and react effectively to incipient
terrorist threats. By making effective use of intelligence
product, we seek to involve the FBI in the investigation of
terrorist plots as early in the chain of conspiratorial events
as possible. In this way, the plot cannot only be disrupted but
the conspirators can also be apprehended, preventing them from
recycling their terrorist plans for use at some unknown future
time and place.
Overseas, U.S. agencies working in coordination with their
foreign counterparts disrupted a plot to bomb a dozen U.S.
commercial jumbo jets flying Asian-Pacific routes. Three of the
terrorists involved in this plot were arrested in distant
countries, brought to the United States, and convicted in
Federal court. Within the United States, investigative efforts
resulted in the arrest and conviction of Sheik Omar Abdel
Rahman and a number of his followers before they could carry
out a deadly plot to bomb buildings, tunnels, and a bridge in
Manhattan. Prevention of these two terrorist plots alone
averted the death or serious injury of tens of thousands of
While the paramount objective is to prevent terrorist
attacks, this goal cannot always be realized. When such acts
occur, the pertinent U.S. agencies utilize their painstaking
planning and training in an effort to respond in a coordinated
and in an effective manner. There are separate deployment plans
depending on whether the terrorist act occurs overseas or
within the United States. Although the FBI is the lead Federal
investigative agency regardless of the place where the
terrorist act occurs, responsibility for overall management of
the U.S. response to overseas terrorist attacks is vested in
the chief of mission. In contrast, within the United States,
the FBI is in charge of the overall Federal response. In either
case, the resources of all pertinent Federal agencies are
available as needed under plans which are designed to ensure
the effective integration and coordination of these resources.
The objective is to develop sufficient evidence to permit
the indictment of the perpetrators and the issuance of warrants
for their arrest. Although efforts to locate international
terrorists and obtain their rendition to the United States are
often very protracted, the passage of time does not diminish
the Government's ardor for pursuing these international
criminals. In one case, for example, custody of a defendant was
obtained and his conviction achieved 19 years after his
terrorist acts. In another case, the perpetrator of a deadly
1985 air piracy in the Middle East was tried and convicted in
the United States in 1996. During these past 4 years, the
relentless efforts to apprehend such fugitives have resulted in
the rendition to the United States of seven individuals on
charges relating to deadly terrorist plots.
The U.S. strategy for combating terrorism is a dynamic one.
It is continually subject to reevaluation and is supplemented
as appropriate to address newly identified concerns and
circumstances. It requires the continuing efforts of
participating agencies to perfect their operations and maintain
Congress, of course, is an integral part of the dynamic
process by which the counterterrorism program continues to be
improved and perfected. The new counterterrorism funding
provided in the final days of the 104th Congress has permitted
the development of a more comprehensive response to terrorist
attacks, including those involving nuclear, biological, or
chemical weapons, and we are very grateful to you.
Much progress has been made during the past few years in
preparing the United States to prevent acts of terrorism and to
respond to those terrorist threats that do arise. However, many
challenges remain including, most significantly, those relating
to weapons of mass destruction and infrastructure protection.
Accordingly, while the PDD-39 strategy has placed U.S.
counterterrorism efforts on course, we continue to work on a
priority basis with the other components of our Government and
with like-minded foreign governments to maximize our ability to
address this area of critical concern.
We appreciate and thank you for the opportunity to be here
with you today, sir.
Chairman Stevens. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate
it very much.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Janet Reno
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I have
submitted a more detailed, classified statement to the Committee. I
will briefly summarize some of the unclassified portions of that
statement, and then would be happy to answer specific questions.
However, since many of the details of our counterterrorism efforts are
classified for security reasons, it will only be possible to address
some of your questions in open session.
It is my privilege to appear before you today for the purpose of
discussing with you our accomplishments over the past several years in
the struggle against terrorism and the preparations that we are
undertaking for combatting that scourge during the coming years.
The protection of our nation and its people from acts of domestic
and international terrorism is among the greatest challenges faced by
this Administration and one of the highest priorities of the Department
of Justice. Over the past two decades, it has become clear that
American citizens and interests abroad are the targets of choice of
terrorists. More recently, it has become apparent in the wake of the
World Trade Center bombing that we are not immune from international
terrorist attacks on our own soil. Further, the risk of terrorism
within our borders does not result solely from grievances imported from
overseas as, increasingly, acts of terrorism are planned by home-grown
groups and perpetrated by disaffected citizens.
Whatever the origin or misguided motivation of the particular
terrorist, the potential consequences of a single incident can be
enormous. The magnitude of human suffering that flows from acts such as
the bombings of Pan Am Flight 103 and the World Trade Center is
incalculable. As weapons of mass destruction become more accessible, we
face the potential of even more catastrophic acts. The nerve gas attack
in the Tokyo subway was a grim warning of this potential.
The challenge that terrorism presents to a free society is that we
must endeavor to hone our skills and techniques sharply enough to
prevent terrorist acts while fully respecting the individual rights and
liberties for which this nation stands. We have made much progress in
the past several years, successfully preventing a number of potentially
deadly terrorist attacks at home and abroad. We have demonstrated that
our commitment is unflagging and our memory is long. But, much work
remains to be done.
The Administration's comprehensive strategy for meeting the
challenges presented by terrorism is detailed in the report that I
submitted to you earlier this month, as well as in my classified
statement. The framework for that strategy is contained in Presidential
Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39), dated June 21, 1995. The PDD seeks to
integrate the roles of all pertinent federal agencies in a
comprehensive, proactive program to prevent and punish terrorist acts.
The policy of our government in dealing with acts of terrorism,
both at home and abroad, is straightforward. We will do everything
possible to deter and prevent terrorist attacks. When acts of terrorism
do occur, we will respond quickly and decisively, with the full panoply
of options that we have available. We will work with our friends
throughout the world to interdict terrorists and ensure their acts do
not go unpunished.
Let me explain briefly some of the means by which we seek to
accomplish these objectives.
Reducing Vulnerabilities Through Preparation
We seek to reduce our vulnerabilities to terrorist attack, both at
home and abroad, by assessing the risks that terrorism poses to U.S.
nationals, employees, and facilities, and by taking steps designed to
prevent or minimize such risks. This is exemplified by the ongoing
efforts of the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure
Protection. The Commission brings together key representatives from
both government and the private sector to assess vulnerabilities and to
propose comprehensive national policies and strategies. The Commission
will complete its work and make its recommendations this fall.
Similarly, one of the FBI's recent initiatives has been the
establishment of a Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat
Assessment Center. The purpose of the Center is to identify the
potential threat posed by terrorism to telecommunications and automated
information systems, as well as to critical physical infrastructures.
Working together with state and local authorities and the private
sector, the FBI is endeavoring to develop ways to address those
threats. The focus of these efforts will be refined consistent with the
recommendations of the Presidential Commission.
Since terrorism prevention and response require the interaction of
numerous agencies within the United States, effective coordination is
critical. PDD-39 delineates the appropriate roles of federal agencies
involved in addressing terrorism. Additionally, pursuant to the PDD,
detailed coordination plans have been drafted to guide the deployment
of resources in response to a threatened or actual terrorist incident.
There are separate plans relating to overseas terrorist incidents and
domestic terrorist incidents.
In addressing international terrorism, ongoing U.S. coordination
efforts include bilateral and multilateral consultations and
cooperation with foreign governments that share our objectives in
countering terrorism. For example, we are working closely within the
context of the P-8, recently renamed the Eight, to improve coordination
and to develop tangible measures to assist in terrorism prevention and
response. These measures include the development and submission to the
United Nations of a draft convention directed at terrorist bombings of
government facilities, public transportation systems, and places of
general public use. Additionally, the Eight is actively involved in
exploring the development of a number of other measures including
tougher international standards for bomb detection and airport
security, and the means to facilitate lawful government access to
Similarly, preparations relating to terrorist threats and acts
within the United States involve the development of effective
coordination with state and local authorities. For example, the FBI has
created 14 joint terrorism task forces which integrate the federal,
state, and local law enforcement authorities in the particular
locality. Additional task forces are in the planning or developmental
stage. Similarly, plans are underway to involve state and local
authorities in the FBI's new counterterrorism center.
I have directed that the FBI implement a comprehensive effort to
coordinate with state and local law enforcement, owners and operators
of critical infrastructure, and state and local emergency managers, in
order to prevent and respond to terrorist activities. I have asked that
clear lines of communication be established so that the relevant
information can quickly and accurately be exchanged among these
officials. I have further directed that the FBI coordinate with these
officials to identify potentially vulnerable facilities, critical
infrastructures, and special events, and to collaborate with these
officials to develop plans to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks.
Since the ability to mount an effective response to a terrorist
incident requires multiple agencies to interrelate smoothly under
extreme pressure, training is also a key element of the U.S. strategy
to reduce this nation's vulnerability to terrorism. To that end, the
federal agencies involved in responding to extraterritorial acts of
terrorism regularly engage in realistic training exercises which
include after action evaluations designed to identify weaknesses and to
facilitate their correction. Training relating to acts of terrorism
occurring within the United States recognizes the important role of
state and local agencies.
Current planning and training efforts relating to terrorism focus
particular attention on addressing incidents involving weapons of mass
destruction. For example, the FBI and DOD are spearheading an
initiative, in coordination with the Department of Energy, FEMA, and
other federal agencies, to provide WMD training to state and local
emergency responders. This initiative will train emergency responders
in 120 cities throughout the United States, with the initial nine
cities due to receive training before the end of the current fiscal
year. Similarly, the FBI and DOD are undertaking a three-year
initiative which will involve training and assistance to foreign law
enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges in addressing nuclear,
chemical, and biological trafficking and proliferation.
Prevention of Terrorist Acts
The U.S. seeks to deter terrorism through broad public
dissemination of a clear message, including that we will not make
concessions to terrorists; we will vigorously apply our criminal
statutes to those that commit acts of terrorism anywhere in the world;
and we will endeavor to apprehend terrorists wherever they seek refuge.
Simply put, we will not allow terrorism to serve as a viable means to
fulfill social or political objectives.
Similarly, the U.S. seeks to prevent terrorist acts by isolating
nations which sponsor or support terrorism. Pursuant to its legislative
authority, the State Department currently has seven nations designated
as sponsors of terrorism--Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, and
North Korea. Such designations trigger a series of economic sanctions.
Further, the prevention of terrorism involves the coordination of
U.S. intelligence and investigative capabilities to detect and react
effectively to incipient terrorist threats. Making effective use of
intelligence product, the objective includes involving the FBI in the
investigation of terrorist plots as early in the chain of
conspiratorial events as possible. In this way, the terrorist plot
cannot only be disrupted but the conspirators can also be apprehended,
preventing them from recycling their terrorist plans for use at some
unknown future time and place.
Overseas, the integrated efforts of pertinent U.S. agencies,
working in coordination with their foreign counterparts, resulted in
the disruption of a plot to bomb a dozen U.S. commercial jumbo jets
flying Asian-Pacific routes, the arrests of three of the plotters in
distant countries, and the conviction of those defendants in U.S.
federal court. Within the United States, investigative efforts resulted
in the arrests of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and a number of his followers
before they could carry out a deadly plot to bomb buildings, tunnels,
and a bridge in Manhattan. Prevention of these two terrorist plots
alone averted the death or serious injury of tens of thousands of
Response to Terrorist Acts
While our paramount objective is to prevent terrorist acts, thereby
sparing innocent people from their tragic consequences, it will not
always be possible to prevent terrorist acts. When such acts occur, the
pertinent U.S. agencies seek to utilize their painstaking planning and
training to respond in a highly coordinated and effective manner.
As mentioned previously, there are separate deployment plans
depending on whether the terrorist act occurs overseas or within the
United States. Although the FBI is the lead federal investigative
agency regardless of the place where the terrorist act occurs, the
State Department is the lead agency for overall management of the U.S.
response to terrorism overseas. In contrast, within the U.S., the FBI
is in charge of the overall federal response. In either case, the
resources of all pertinent federal agencies are available as needed
under plans which are designed to ensure the effective integration and
coordination of those resources.
All overseas acts of terrorism which significantly impact U.S.
persons or property are the subject of a criminal investigation. The
objective is to develop sufficient evidence to permit the indictment of
the perpetrators and the issuance of warrants for their arrest.
Although efforts to locate and obtain the rendition of a defendant
to the United States are often very protracted, the passage of time
does not diminish the government's ardor for pursuing these
international outlaws. In one case, for example, custody of a defendant
was obtained, and his conviction achieved, 19 years after his terrorist
acts. In another case, the perpetrator of a deadly 1985 air piracy in
the Middle East was tried and convicted in the United States in 1996.
During the past four years, the relentless efforts to apprehend such
fugitives have resulted in the rendition to the United States of seven
individuals on charges relating to highly deadly terrorist plots.
The U.S. strategy for combatting terrorism is a dynamic one. It is
continually subject to reevaluation and is supplemented as appropriate
to address newly-identified concerns and circumstances. The strategy
requires the continuing efforts of participating agencies to perfect
their operations and maintain readiness.
Congress is, of course, an integral part of the dynamic process by
which the counterterrorism program continues to be improved and
perfected. The new counterterrorism funding provided in the final days
of the 104th Congress has permitted the development of a more
comprehensive response to terrorist attacks including those involving
nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons.
The Committee has provided significant support in our efforts to
counter and investigate acts of terrorism. Your foresight made
available $545 million in counterterrorism resources in the 1995
Oklahoma City Supplemental, the 1996 Counterterrorism Amendment, and
the 1997 Counterterrorism Enhancement. These resources provided over
2,000 new positions, including over 600 additional FBI Agents and
nearly 90 Assistant U.S. Attorneys. A substantial portion of the
Department's 1998 request includes annualization resources critical to
fully-fund the important enhancements initiated in 1997. Our 1998
request also includes a limited number of enhancements, including funds
aimed to bolster the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorneys'
investigative and prosecutorial activities.
Much progress has been made during the past few years in preparing
the United States to prevent acts of terrorism and to respond to those
terrorist threats that do arise. However, many challenges remain
including, most significantly, those relating to weapons of mass
destruction and infrastructure protection. Accordingly, while the PDD-
39 strategy has placed U.S. counterterrorism efforts on course, we
continue to work on a priority basis with the other counterterrorism
components of our government and with like-minded foreign governments
to maximize our ability to address this area of critical concern.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
STATEMENT OF LOUIS J. FREEH, DIRECTOR
Chairman Stevens. Director Freeh.
Mr. Freeh. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure, as
always, to appear before the committee. Let me request that my
longer statement be made part of the record. What I would like
to do in a very few minutes is just give you an overview of
what is contained in there.
Chairman Stevens. We will print all of your statements in
the record in full. We appreciate your courtesy. Thank you.
Mr. Freeh. Thank you. Let me also begin and echo the
Attorney General in my appreciation for the funding which this
committee has provided, particularly in the counterterrorism
area, which is the subject of this hearing. We now expend
approximately $243 million supporting over 2,600 positions
dedicated solely to counterterrorism threats. That is a
threefold increase in that initiative since I became the FBI
Director. We have been able to achieve many of our initiatives
and successes, some alluded to by the Attorney General, because
of that substantial funding and the men and women of law
enforcement, particularly in the FBI. We appreciate very much
the support from this committee, particularly Senator Gregg and
REDUCING VULNERABILITIES THROUGH PREPARATION
The U.S. policy on terrorism is actually a very concise
one. The protection of this Nation and its people against
terrorist threats, whether domestic or foreign, is of the
highest priority of the U.S. Government. The cornerstones of
this policy are the reduction of vulnerabilities of the United
States to terrorism at home and abroad; other terrorism to be
deterred through clear public positions that our policy will
not be affected by terrorist acts; our willingness and ability
to respond rapidly and decisively to terrorism directed against
the United States; and to develop the capabilities to deter,
prevent, defeat, and manage consequences of nuclear, chemical,
or biological attacks.
If you look at the FBI's current 10 most wanted fugitives
list, it will give you an indication of the priority that
counterterrorism has in the FBI. This list used to include
mobsters and gangsters. We now have individuals such as Abdel
Al-Megrahi and Lamen Fhimah. They are the two fugitives who
have been charged with the bombing of Pan Am 103. As the
Attorney General mentioned, time is not the issue with respect
to the apprehension and prosecution of those individuals. Also
on the list is an individual named Mir Aimal Kansi, who was
responsible for the murders outside the CIA headquarters, and
who remains a fugitive.
The renditions and extraditions which the Attorney General
alluded to since 1993, emphasize and demonstrate very
powerfully the counterterrorism policy of the United States.
The individuals who are included on that list include Yousef,
Walikhan, Najim, Abu Halimah, individuals charged in the World
Trade bombing case and the Manila air case; an individual
responsible for a 1985 hijacking; Rhezak Hakim, who is being
charged with the Manila air conspiracy; and an individual named
Zherezaki who is wanted for a 1986 attack on the United States
Embassy in Indonesia. These cases remain a top priority of both
the law enforcement and the intelligence communities. All of
these renditions and extraditions were accomplished in close
coordination and cooperation with the Central Intelligence
Agency which assisted in the location of some of these
individuals. We are very appreciative of their assistance.
SOURCE OF TERRORISM
The current international terrorist threat comes from
several sources: one such source is the seven foreign
governments who have been publicly identified as sponsors of
terrorism. We are concerned about the organized groups both
abroad and within the United States, particularly Hamas and
Hizballah and some of the radical fundamentalist groups. We are
concerned also about the more informal ad hoc conspiracies
demonstrated in the World Trade bombing case, which are harder
to anticipate and more difficult to monitor because of their ad
hoc nature and the mobility of the co-conspirators.
With respect to the current domestic terrorism threats,
which you alluded to, Mr. Chairman, there is a long list of
current attacks and problems which have required the FBI to
devote vast new resources to address. We are looking within the
United States at various individuals, as well as organizations,
who have an ideology which suspects government, particularly
the Federal Government, of world order conspiracies, and
individuals who for various reasons have organized themselves
against the United States. We are not concerned about the
association of individuals who espouse ideologies which are
perhaps inconsistent with principles of Federal Government. All
of our investigations in domestic counterterrorism have to be
predicated on an indication of criminal activity. The
individuals and groups who pose a danger to people's lives and
liberties are the subjects of these investigations.
There has been a long list of planned acts of terror which
were interrupted by the coordinated efforts, not just within
the Department of Justice, but across the Federal, State, and
local law enforcement communities. Last month on April 22, a
group of individuals in Texas, members of a Ku Klux Klan-type
organization, were arrested because they planned, as they are
now charged with doing, a series of attacks which would have
included the blowing up of a natural gas storage facility as a
diversionary tactic to another criminal act which they are
charged with planning.
Going back over the last few months, individuals as well as
organized groups of individuals, have been arrested. In West
Virginia, a group of individuals planned to blow up the FBI
CJIS Fingerprint Center were interrupted by arrest. The Freemen
situation was predicated by the arrest of individuals who were
planning to kidnap and try various State officials in Montana
was resolved. All these cases were predicated on criminal
FBI ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
With respect to the FBI's roles and responsibilities, as
the Attorney General stated, they are reaffirmed in the PDD-39
document which members of this committee are familiar with.
That document sets out the responsibilities, not only of the
FBI, but emphasizes the coordination which is required among
all Federal agencies to meet the objectives of Federal policy
with respect to terrorism.
There is particular emphasis in that plan for coordination
between the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice
in areas where chemical, nuclear, or biological threats present
themselves. This is an area, combined with the infrastructure
threats, that is adding a new dimension and a new challenge to
our efforts to deal with terrorism, particularly incidents in
the United States.
We have, as I said, appreciated very much the resources
that we receive from the Congress, particularly from this
committee. Going back to 1995, we have been able to double the
number of FBI agents and support employees in the
counterterrorism program. We have done this in coordination
with our partners in the CIA. We have exchanged deputies at a
high level between the FBI and the CIA in the counterterrorism
areas. The Deputy Section Chief in the International Terrorism
Section is a CIA officer who has line authority. The Deputy at
the CIA's Counterterrorism Center is an FBI agent. We have
conducted joint training, conferencing, and operational
planning with the CIA. I think our counterterrorism strategies,
particularly in the international arena, have been strengthened
by this cooperation. I want to thank George Tenet personally,
who has supervised much of this cooperation.
Our goals are to improve our intelligence and information
capabilities. The Attorney General referred to the creation of
the Counterterrorism Center at the FBI, which is up and
running. This center has representatives from 17 other Federal
agencies and which is dedicated to a central collection and
analytical point in the Federal Government for threats,
particularly those regarding domestic terrorism.
We have tried to improve our forensic capabilities,
particularly with the establishment of the hazardous material
unit in our laboratory. Two weeks ago, Mr. Chairman, this unit
responded to the threat at the B'nai B'rith here in Washington,
DC. This threat turned out to be a hoax threat but at the time
was taken very seriously. We are developing other
infrastructure capabilities and assessments on both an interim
and long-term basis. We are striving in this regard to grow in
a coordinated fashion with our State and local partners. These
partners need not only our training, which this committee has
authorized, but the coordination of intelligence and joint
operations when it is appropriate.
In conclusion, both with respect to the traditional
terrorism threats and the new ones which now present
themselves, the tremendous support which the Congress, and
particularly this committee has provided is being put to good
use, to coordinated use, and we very much appreciate your
support with continuing contributions in this regard.
Chairman Stevens. Thank you very much, Mr. Director.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Louis J. Freeh
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I
welcome this opportunity to discuss the policy of the administration on
counterterrorism, to describe the threat of terrorism in the United
States, and to bring you up-to-date on how the FBI is using the
counterterrorism resources Congress has provided over the past several
years to address this problem.
At the very outset, I want to recognize the early leadership that
Senators Gregg and Hollings, along with the other members of the
committee, have exhibited in this critical area. Their efforts,
initially in the Senate mark-up of the 1997 Justice Appropriations Act
and then in the conference agreement for the Omnibus Appropriations
Act, provided the FBI with $133.9 million in new funding as part of a
comprehensive counterterrorism initiative.
On behalf of the men and women of the FBI, especially those who
work tirelessly toward protecting the American people against the
threat of terrorism, I wish to thank you for your support. I am
confident that our efforts will justify your past commitment and
continued support to this important area of the FBI's responsibility.
UNITED STATES POLICY ON TERRORISM
The protection of our nation and its people against the threat of
terrorism, by individuals and groups operating from home and abroad, is
one of the highest priorities of the administration. As a nation, we
must stand firm in our resolve against terrorism. We must not allow
those who would resort to acts of terrorism to succeed in influencing
the policies and actions of our government and tearing apart the very
fabric of American society.
The government's policy to fight terrorism is articulated in
Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 39, ``U.S. Policy on
Counterterrorism.'' this policy, signed by President Clinton on June
21, 1995, makes it clear that the national policy of the United States
is to regard acts of terrorism as both a threat to national security
and a criminal act, and to respond vigorously to all such acts on our
territory or against our citizens wherever they occur.
The United States is also committed to strengthening the ability of
the international community to prevent acts of terrorism before they
occur and to respond more effectively to acts of terrorism when they do
Just recently, the Attorney General submitted to the House and
Senate Appropriations Committees the administration's comprehensive
counterterrorism strategy that was requested by Senate Report 104-353.
This plan builds upon the foundations and responsibilities articulated
FOUR MAJOR CORNERSTONES OF POLICY
There are four major cornerstones through which the government's
policy on terrorism is to be implemented. These are: to reduce the
vulnerabilities of the United States to terrorism; to deter terrorist
acts before they occur; to respond to terrorist acts that do occur,
including apprehension and punishment of terrorists and management of
the consequences of terrorist acts; and to develop effective
capabilities address the threat posed by nuclear, chemical, or
biological materials or weapons.
Within the scope of these four cornerstones, the roles and
responsibilities of the many agencies involved in the government's
counterterrorism effort are articulated. Interagency coordination and
cooperation are key factors underlying the principles upon which the
government's policy is built and are the path to its success.
NATURE OF THE TERRORIST THREAT
Based upon this policy of treating terrorists as criminals and
applying the rule of law, the United States is one of the most visible
and effective forces in identifying, locating, and apprehending
terrorists here and overseas. At the same time, this policy invites the
possibility of reprisals. To help put this into perspective, I would
like to discuss the nature of the terrorist threat--both international
and domestic--that our nation faces today.
INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST THREAT
International terrorism against the United States is that which is
foreign based and/or directed by countries or groups outside the United
States, or whose activities transcend national boundaries. The threat
posed specifically by foreign terrorists has increased in the past
three years and will continue for the foreseeable future.
The current international terrorist threat to the United States
government, its people, and its interests can be divided into three
major categories: (1) state sponsors of international terrorism, (2)
formalized terrorist groups, and (3) loosely-affiliated international
The first major threat to Americans comes from state sponsors of
international terrorism. State sponsors include Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Sudan, Libya, Cuba, and North Korea. In recent years, terrorist
activities by Cuba and North Korea appear to have declined, due
primarily to the deteriorating economic situations in both countries.
However, the activities of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Libya have
These state sponsors continue to view terrorism as a tool of
foreign policy. Past activities included direct terrorist support and
operations by official state agents. Following successful
investigations which have identified the activities of state agents
involved in terrorism, state sponsors now generally seek to conceal
their support of terrorism by relying on surrogates to conduct actual
State sponsors, however, continue to remain engaged in anti-western
terrorist activities by funding, organizing, networking, and providing
other support and instruction to many extremists. A classic example of
state sponsored terrorism was the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988,
which killed 270 people. Two Libyan intelligence operatives, Lamen
Fhimah and Abdel Al-Megrahi, were indicted for their role in the
FORMALIZED EXTREMIST GROUPS
The second major international terrorist threat to the United
States is posed by formalized extremist groups. These autonomous
organizations have their own infrastructures, personnel, financial
arrangements, and training facilities. They are able to plan and mount
terrorist campaigns overseas, and support terrorist operations inside
the United States.
Extremist groups such as Lebanese Hizballah, the Egyptian Al-Gamat
Al-Islamiyya, and the Palestinian Hamas have placed supporters inside
the United States who could be used to support an act of terrorism
here. Hizballah is one of the most dangerous of these groups.
Hizballah has staged numerous anti-United States terrorist attacks,
including the suicide truck-bombing of the United States Embassy and
the United States Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and the
United States Embassy annex in Lebanon in 1984. Elements of the group
were also responsible for the kidnaping and detention of United States
hostages in Lebanon.
INTERNATIONAL RADICAL FUNDAMENTALISTS
The final major international terrorist threat to the United States
stems from loosely-affiliated Islamic terrorists, such as the World
Trade Center bombers and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef. These extremists are
neither surrogates of, nor strongly influenced by, any one nation. They
have the ability to tap into a variety of official and private resource
bases in order to facilitate terrorist acts against United States
Loosely-affiliated extremists may pose the most urgent
international terrorist threat to the United States at this time since
they are relatively unknown to law enforcement. They have the ability
to travel freely, obtain a variety of identities, and recruit like-
minded sympathizers from various countries and/or factions.
Some of these extremists in the United States are developing or
experimenting with advanced communications, electronic mail, and the
internet. For example, supporters of Shayke Omar Abdel Rahman solicited
monies for his defense through the internet during his trial for the
planned multiple attacks against New York City landmarks and United
States government facilities.
REVOLUTIONARY AND INSURGENT GROUPS
Revolutionary and insurgent groups continue to operate in South and
Central America and other locations. These groups have been responsible
for kidnapings of American business representatives, religious
missionaries, and tourists, as well as other crimes. However, at this
time, it does not appear that these groups represent a major
international terrorist threat to the United States government or its
DOMESTIC TERRORISM THREAT
Domestic terrorist groups are those which are based and which
operate entirely within the United States, or its territories, and
whose activities are directed at elements of the United States
government or its civilian population. The threat posed by domestic
terrorist groups has remained significant over the past several years.
Domestic terrorist groups represent interests spanning the full
political spectrum, as well as social issues and concerns. FBI
investigations of domestic terrorist groups are not predicated upon
social or political beliefs; rather, they are based upon planned or
actual criminal activity.
The current domestic terrorist threat primarily comes from right-
wing extremist groups, militia groups, Puerto Rican terrorist groups,
and special interest groups.
RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST GROUPS
A basic philosophical tenet of many right-wing extremist groups is
a belief in the superiority of the white race and that blacks, Jews,
and other ethnic minorities are inferior racially, mentally,
physically, and spiritually. Much of their philosophy flows from a
racist, anti-semitic religion known as ``Christian Identity.''
Christian Identity teaches that white non-Jews are God's chosen race
and that Jews are the offspring of satan.
Many right-wing extremist groups also espouse anti-government
sentiments. These groups refer to the federal government as the Zionist
Occupation government and claim that it is controlled by Jewish
interests. A number of right-wing groups also believe that the federal
government is bent on stripping constitutional rights from individual
citizens of the United States.
In an attempt to live apart from ``inferior people,'' some right-
wing groups advocate creating a separate nation from the five states
comprising the northwest region of the United States--Washington,
Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Right-wing extremist groups believe that either an economic and/or
social collapse which will bring about the biblical Armageddon is
imminent. Therefore, they routinely engage in survivalist and/or
paramilitary training to ensure the survival of the white race and/or
Among the right-wing extremist groups operating in the United
States are: the Army of Israel, the Aryan Nations, the Texas Aryan
Brotherhood, the California Militia, the Viper Militia, the Mountaineer
Militia, the Republic of Texas, our one supreme court, the Texas
Constitutional Militia, the Utah Free Militia, the North Idaho Militia
Group, and the Freemen.
Since 1992, the United States has experienced an exponential growth
of militia groups. While the majority of militia members are law
abiding citizens, there is a small percentage of members within militia
groups who advocate and conspire to commit violent criminal acts. Of
particular concern to the FBI is the potential for militias to be
infiltrated by extremists who seek to exploit militias and their
members in order to further their own terrorist agendas.
While militia groups are often multi-racial, they are predominately
white. They generally view themselves as ``sovereign'' citizens who are
exempt from the laws and regulations of the United States government.
Militia members often subscribe to the theory that the federal
government is in a conspiracy with the United Nations that would result
in the creation of a one-nation world government, or new world order.
This one-world government would use foreign troops in the United States
to seize all privately owned weapons and imprison and execute patriotic
Many militia groups advocate stockpiling weapons and explosives and
conducting paramilitary training as part of their preparation for what
they believe will be an inevitable armed conflict with the government.
Some militia groups openly advocate the overthrow of the federal
Militia members and cells are engaged in a wide variety of criminal
activity, such as the illegal sale and purchase of automatic weapons,
issuing threats against federal and elected officials, the illegal
transportation of explosives, bombings, destruction of government
property, and the filing of spurious lawsuits designed to harass law
enforcement, elected officials, and others, as well as to disrupt the
courts. Some militia members engage in fraudulent financial schemes to
raise funds. Others have committed armed robberies of banks and armored
I want to emphasize, again, that FBI investigations of militia
groups are predicated upon violations of federal law and are not based
upon members lawful exercise of their first or second amendment rights.
PUERTO RICAN TERRORIST GROUPS
Although the last terrorist incident involving Puerto Rican
terrorist groups was a bombing in Chicago in December 1992, these
groups continue to be of concern. Between 1982 and 1994, approximately
44 percent of the terrorist incidents committed in the United States
and its territories are attributed to Puerto Rican terrorist groups.
Efforts are continuing to locate fugitives still at large from these
incidents. Further, several incarcerated members of Puerto Rican
terrorist groups are due to be released from prison in 1998.
Puerto Rican terrorist groups believe the liberation of Puerto Rico
from the United States justifies the use of violence to obtain that
objective. These groups characterize their terrorism activities as
``acts of war'' against invading forces and, when arrested, they
consider themselves to be ``prisoners of war'' who must be treated as
such according to the Geneva Convention. Clandestine behavior and
security are of utmost importance in these group's activities.
Puerto Rican terrorist groups consider any act that brings funds,
weapons, and other supplies into these organizations as justified.
Among the acts committed by these groups are murders, armed robberies
of banks and armored carriers, thefts of weapons, bombings of United
States government buildings, and bombings of United States military
facilities. These groups also target federal and local government
The EPB-Macheteros has been the most active and violent of the
Puerto Rico-based terrorist groups since it emerged in 1978. The FALN
(Armed Forces for Puerto Rican National Liberation) is a clandestine
terrorist group based in Chicago which emerged in the 1970's. The MLN
(Movement of National Liberation) is the ``above ground'' support group
and political arm of the FALN. The MLN is the major fundraiser for the
FALN. Among the business ventures operated by the MLN are a bakery and
SPECIAL INTEREST TERRORIST GROUPS
Special interest terrorist groups engage in criminal activity to
bring about specific, narrowly-focused social or political changes.
They differ from more traditional domestic terrorist groups which seek
more wide-ranging political changes. It is the willingness to commit
criminal acts that separates special interest terrorist groups from
other law-abiding groups that often support the same popular issues. By
committing criminal acts, these terrorists believe that they can force
various segments of society to change attitudes about issues considered
important to them.
The existence of these types of groups often does not come to law
enforcement attention until after an act is committed and the
individual or group leaves a claim of responsibility. Membership in a
group may be limited to a very small number of co-conspirators or
associates. Consequently, acts committed by special interest terrorists
present unique challenges to the FBI and other law enforcement.
Unfortunately, these types of terrorist acts are growing more
An example of special interest terrorist activity is the February
2, 1992, arson of the mink research facility at Michigan State
University. Rodney Coronado, a member of the Animal Liberation Front,
pled guilty to arson charges on July 3, 1995. The Animal Liberation
Front is a militant animal rights group founded in England in 1976.
Assessing the capabilities of international and domestic terrorist
groups to inflict harm on American citizens and the United States
government is critical to developing the capabilities and strategies
needed to implement the four cornerstones that are embodied by PDD-39.
FBI ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
As I stated earlier, PDD-39 establishes the roles and
responsibilities for the many government agencies that are involved in
the government's counterterrorism response. PDD-39 defines these roles
and responsibilities within the context of the four cornerstones
through which the government's policy on terrorism is to be
implemented. In many instances, PDD-39 reaffirmed roles and
responsibilities set out in earlier executive orders and by federal
PDD-39 also established new roles and responsibilities based on the
assessment of the current terrorism threat to the United States,
especially in light of the dramatic changes resulting from the
dissolution of the former Soviet Union and the communist bloc. It is
within this framework that I would like to talk about the FBI's
counterterrorism roles and responsibilities.
REDUCING OUR VULNERABILITIES
In general, PDD-39 confers upon the heads of all executive branch
departments and agencies the responsibility of ensuring that their
personnel and facilities, and the people and facilities within their
jurisdiction, are fully protected against terrorism. As lead
investigative agency, PDD-39 confers upon the FBI responsibility for
reducing vulnerabilities by an expanded counterterrorism program.
PDD-39 further directed the Attorney General, in her role as the
chief law enforcement officer, to chair a Cabinet committee to review
the vulnerability to terrorism of government facilities in the United
States and the nation's critical infrastructure. She was also directed
to make recommendations to the President and the appropriate Cabinet
member or agency head regarding the findings of the committee.
In response to this tasking, the Attorney General established the
critical infrastructure working group which included representatives
from the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. The
group identified eight national critical infrastructures:
telecommunications, transportation, emergency services, banking and
finance, electrical power systems, water supply systems, gas/oil
storage and transportation, and continuity of government. The group
also identified two categories of threat to these infrastructures--
physical and cyber.
In July 1996, the President issued an executive order on critical
infrastructure protection that established the President's Commission
on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The order also established an
interim infrastructure protection task force. The purpose of the task
force is to identify and improve coordination of existing
infrastructure protection efforts throughout the government until the
completion or development of a comprehensive national policy and
strategy for critical infrastructure protection. The FBI was selected
to chair the task force. The Commission oversees the work of the task
The United States government seeks to deter terrorism through
public diplomacy, by reducing terrorist capabilities at home and
abroad, and by seeking the return of indicted terrorists to the United
States for prosecution.
RESPONDING TO TERRORISM
To develop and coordinate the government's response to
international and domestic terrorism, the President has established
lead agency responsibilities among the various departments of the
The President reaffirmed the Department of Justice as the overall
lead agency domestically. In addition to being responsible for the
prosecution of terrorists that violate United States law, the
department is responsible for the development and implementation of
policies addressing domestic terrorism. For foreign incidents, the
Department of State is the lead agency.
The President reaffirmed the FBI as the lead agency for
investigating terrorist acts planned or carried out by foreign or
domestic terrorist groups in the United States or which are directed at
United States citizens or institutions abroad.
Effective response and coordination obviously requires good
interagency support coordination. The PDD directed the establishment of
rapidly deployable interagency emergency support teams to respond to
terrorist incidents. The Department of State is given responsibility
for leading and managing the foreign emergency support team in foreign
incidents. The FBI is designated as being responsible for the domestic
emergency support team in domestic incidents. Both teams are to include
modules for specific types of incidents, such as nuclear, biological,
or chemical threats.
Other responsibilities of the FBI, consistent with its existing
authorities, are to collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence on
terrorist groups and activities, and to disseminate internal threat
warnings. Finally, to facilitate intelligence community and law
enforcement cooperation, the FBI has been directed to establish a
domestic counterterrorism center.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The acquisition, proliferation, threatened or actual use of weapons
of mass destruction by a terrorist group or individuals constitutes one
of the gravest threats to the United States. The government's policy
recognizes that there is no higher priority than preventing the
acquisition of this capability or removing this capability from
terrorist groups potentially opposed to the United States.
The FBI is working closely with the Department of Defense to carry
out other authorized weapons of mass destruction programs, such as
Nunn-Lugar. We are actively undertaking initiatives to employ all
necessary measures, assets, and resources to achieve these objectives.
During the past year, the FBI has implemented several new
initiatives to meet this challenge. These initiatives are not conducted
in a unilateral manner, but with the FBI working with many other United
States government agencies and state and local agencies to coordinate
crisis and consequence management.
These initiatives involve the FBI's role in the interagency
community to assist in the training of law enforcement and emergency
responders throughout the United States; to issue and update
contingency plans for FBI field offices and other crisis management
agencies; to participate in interagency exercises; to create the
domestic emergency support team; and to implement the joint Department
of Defense/FBI international training initiative in the former Soviet
SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGEMENT
The FBI plays a major role in the intelligence and security
planning for many special events occurring within the United States,
such as the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Democratic and Republican
National Conventions, and Presidential Inauguration.
These events routinely receive a high degree of visibility both
domestically and internationally. As such, these events represent
potential targets for acts of terrorism in which the resulting
consequences could cause significant harm to either United States
national interests or international political stability.
PDD-39, as well as other executive orders and federal statutes, has
served as the blueprint for developing the various counterterrorism
initiatives and funding proposals that have been generously supported
by the committee. In developing these initiatives, I have sought to
address not only counterterrorism investigative requirements, but also
certain critical infrastructure capabilities of the FBI that allow our
investigators and analysts to perform their jobs. Establishing and
maintaining an effective counterterrorism capability within the FBI
requires a careful balance between investigative resources and related
information, technology, and forensic support services.
1995 counterterrorism supplemental
In the aftermath of the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal
Building in Oklahoma City, the administration submitted a supplemental
budget request for the FBI to enhance domestic terrorism capabilities.
Congress responded by enacting a 1995 supplemental appropriation that
provided 427 support positions and $77.1 million to the FBI. Among the
items funded by Congress were several major, multi-year projects, such
as the upgrading of FBI command center capabilities.
The FBI has filled all of these 427 support positions; 425
employees are on board and 2 have been provided appointment letters.
Among these new positions were 190 special surveillance group staff, 25
analysts for the counterterrorism center, 75 intelligence research
specialists, 50 police officers, 69 technical staff, and 18 field
We have obligated $54.8 million of the 1995 supplemental funding,
as of March 31, 1997. Recently, the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees cleared the FBI's request to use $7.5 million of the
remaining unobligated funds for the computer investigation and
infrastructure threat assessment center, as well as initiatives related
to the infrastructure protection task force. The largest amount of
unobligated funds is for the renovation and upgrading of the FBI
command center, which is a multi-year project scheduled for completion
1996 COUNTERTERRORISM INITIATIVE
Congress provided the FBI with $158.8 million in 1996 for
counterterrorism activities, including 222 new positions. We have hired
209 individuals, including all 131 agents and 78 of 91 support staff.
Of the $158.8 million provided, $89.5 million has been obligated as
of March 31, 1997. The remaining unobligated 1996 counterterrorism
amendment funding consists of no-year construction and violent crime
reduction funds for several major, multi-year initiatives, primarily
the construction of a new FBI laboratory facility and the FBI command
The FBI has selected a site for the new facility at the FBI Academy
in Quantico, Virginia. We expect to begin site preparation later this
summer. Funding was also provided for a multi-year modernization of
laboratory equipment and to acquire equipment for evidence response
teams in FBI field offices.
The 1996 appropriation also included the remainder of the funding
planned for the FBI command center project, as well as funding to
support FBI digital telephony and tactical operations programs. These
latter two programs are critical to maintaining our technical
capabilities in counterterrorism matters. These are long-term programs
that will allow us to keep pace with changing technologies.
1997 COUNTERTERRORISM INITIATIVE
As I mentioned earlier, Congress provided the FBI with $133.9
million in new counterterrorism resources in the 1997 appropriations.
This funding will allow us to assign 644 additional agents and 620
support employees to support our counterterrorism programs, FBI
laboratory, critical incident response group, and service operations.
Most of the new agents and support positions are allowing us to
double the ``shoe-leather'' for counterterrorism investigations so that
we can address emerging domestic and international terrorist groups,
establish an investigative capability for chemical/biological/nuclear
incidents, identify key assets and conduct infrastructure vulnerability
assessments. Each of these areas directly supports the four major
cornerstones of the government's counterterrorism policy.
We are also expanding the number of joint terrorism task forces
that have proven to be extremely valuable in facilitating cooperation
among federal, state, and local law enforcement.
To support our expanded field counterterrorism efforts, Congress
also funded improvements for FBI information and intelligence
capabilities. We are establishing our computer investigation and
infrastructure threat assessment center (CITAC) at FBI headquarters to
serve as a resource for investigations of computer crimes and attempts
to disrupt or disable the national information infrastructure. We are
implementing a plan to improve our language translation capabilities,
particularly in the areas of FARSI and Arabic.
We are acquiring computers that will provide us access to
classified intelligence computer networks and databases so that we can
exchange information with our partners and access their data. Efforts
are underway to update the database of key asset information. We are
strengthening state and local law enforcement involvement with our
To improve forensics and crisis management capabilities, Congress
provided funding to establish a hazardous materials response capability
within the FBI laboratory so that we can fulfill our role in terrorist
incidents where chemical or biological agents or nuclear materials are
suspected or involved. Funding was also provided to upgrade the
training provided to federal, state, and local law enforcement,
firefighter, and public safety officers through the FBI's hazardous
response school at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. We are developing a
capability to exchange forensic information with other foreign
governments so that we can improve our ability to link terrorist
incidents and identify persons responsible for terrorist acts.
We are implementing a crisis management program that provides
training to senior law enforcement managers, including the Attorney
General, top Department of Justice officials, FBI special agents in
charge, and others, who are key decision-makers in the management and
resolution of a hostage-taking incident, a terrorist act, a prison
siege, or other crisis situation. Our crisis management program also
assists in the planning and conducting of training exercises that
assess the readiness of federal agencies, state and local government,
and others in responding to a chemical and biological incidents or
other similar threats.
Finally, to provide a more secure work environment, Congress
provided funding to acquire physical security equipment for FBI
offices, such as x-ray machines, magnetometers, and closed-circuit
television systems; to hire contract guard and security for field
offices and the FBI Academy; and to add additional police officers to
protect our new Washington, D.C. field office. These physical security
upgrades are consistent with the measures recommended in the
vulnerability assessment of federal facilities that was mandated after
the Oklahoma City bombing.
1998 PRESIDENT'S BUDGET
The 1998 budget request to Congress includes $83.3 million to fully
fund the new counterterrorism positions provided by the Congress in the
1997 appropriations act. Most of this funding is for personnel
compensation of agent and support staff.
Additionally, within our technology crimes initiative, an increase
of $5.9 million is proposed to fund the operations of the CITAC.
Initial funding for the CITAC was provided as part of the
counterterrorism initiative in the 1997 appropriations act. CITAC
supports both criminal and national security investigations. This
additional funding is needed for contractor support services, technical
equipment, training, and operational travel. The 1998 budget also
proposes 56 positions (34 agents) and $5.9 million for computer crime
The dual threats that the CITAC addresses are among the most
challenging and dynamic problems that the FBI must address in meeting
its national security and criminal missions. Illegal electronic
intrusion into computer networks is a rapidly escalating crime and
security problem. In addition to terrorists, white-collar criminals,
economic espionage agents, organized crime groups, and foreign
intelligence agents have been identified as ``electronic intruders''
responsible for penetrations of American computer systems and networks.
The United States government relies upon the national information
infrastructure for the efficient, uninterrupted flow of electronic
information for air traffic control, military communications, energy
distribution, public safety, and other essential government programs
and services. Intelligence and industry forecasts indicate the United
States is just beginning to realize the potentially damaging effects
and extent of the computer crime problem.
The dynamic nature of the counterterrorism threat to the United
States is a significant challenge to the FBI, as well as all of the
other federal, state, and local agencies involved in combating
terrorism. PDD-39 clearly articulates the policy of the United States
towards terrorism, identifies the major underpinnings of this policy,
and designates roles for federal agencies.
Consistent with this overall statement of policy, and with the
resources you have provided us, the FBI is developing and implementing
a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy. Our success in achieving our
goals and objectives in thwarting international and domestic terrorism
will depend, in part, upon the continued support of the Congress. I am
hopeful that we will be able to enjoy the continued support of Congress
as we work toward achieving our counterterrorism goals and objectives.
I strongly believe that the American people expect the FBI to do
its best to, first prevent acts of terrorism from happening, and two,
to effectively respond to and investigate those acts of terrorism that
are committed so that the persons responsible for such heinous crimes
are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I know that with the
committee's continued support, the FBI will be able to meet the
challenge of terrorism in the United States.
That concludes my prepared remarks. I would like to respond to any
questions at this time.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
STATEMENT OF GEORGE J. TENET, ACTING DIRECTOR
Chairman Stevens. Mr. Tenet.
Mr. Tenet. Mr. Chairman, let me tell you what we face when
we attack this terrorist target. First, terrorists, as we know,
guard their tactics, methods, and objectives more assiduously
than any of the other targets we pursue. Second, international
terrorists are extending their geographic reach around the
world, including the United States. I refer here to operations
such as the World Trade Center bombing, attacks against Israeli
targets in South America, the truck bomb that killed 19 United
States service personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and
the murder of 2 CIA employees outside of our own front gates.
Terrorists are developing increasingly complex ways to
support their operations. Frequently they use multiple front
companies or nongovernmental organizations to disguise their
operations, and they have the means to move money, materiel,
and manpower around the world.
Finally, international terrorists are turning to even more
sophisticated methods of attack. We saw this in the Aum
Shinrikyo use of nerve gas against commuters in the Tokyo
subway 2 years ago. Potential terrorist use of chemical,
biological, or other such weapons on a wider scale must become
one of our highest priority concerns.
As this snapshot makes clear, Mr. Chairman, our task is not
just to unveil terrorist secrets, it is to stay a step ahead of
the terrorist, who is constantly on the move and constantly
seeking more advanced methods.
Mr. Chairman, let me review for you some key aspects of our
approach. Counterterrorism has been a subject of concentrated
and focused effort by the intelligence community ever since the
DCI Counterterrorist Center, or CTC, was established in 1986 by
DCI Casey. CTC is not only the center of intelligence work on
terrorism, it also embodies the effective interagency
cooperation that is vital to counterterrorism. It includes
personnel from CIA as well as 11 other departments and
agencies. The components represented include intelligence
agencies, such as DIA and NSA, law enforcement, such as the FBI
and Secret Service, and policymaking agencies such as the
Department of State. One of the two deputies, as Judge Freeh
pointed out, of CTC is a senior FBI officer.
By pulling all of these elements together, the
Counterterrorist Center creates a whole that is greater than
the sum of its parts. It harnesses all of the operational,
analytical, and technical elements devoted to counterterrorism.
The results through the years point to the soundness of this
idea. The successes of this approach range from the uncovering
of Libya's role in the bombing of Pan Am 103 to the thwarting
of Ramzi Yousef's attempt to blow a dozen United States
airliners out of the sky in the Far East during 1995. Moreover,
CTC has worked with the State Department to provide extensive
counterterrorist training to our allies. Over 18,000
individuals in 50 nations have been trained in counterterrorism
over the past decade.
We are enhancing the capabilities, Mr. Chairman, of CTC and
other intelligence community elements with new counterterrorist
initiatives launched during the past year with your help. They
touch upon each of the things we do in counterterrorism,
including human and technical collection of intelligence,
analysis, warning, and response. We have created a new
terrorism warning group whose sole mission is to make sure
civilian and military leaders are alerted to specific terrorist
threats. We have created additional all-source analytical
positions to improve our indepth understanding of terrorist
groups. We have expanded technical collection operations so
that we can stay ahead of the terrorists' own improvements in
their communications and use of other technologies. And we are
expanding our human intelligence operations, including a
substantial increase in CIA operations officers working
overseas against the terrorism problem.
The intelligence on terrorism, Mr. Chairman, that we
provide to our sister agencies ranges from the warning
information I just mentioned to intelligence on the behavior of
state sponsors of terrorism. The latter supports the Department
of State's diplomatic efforts to bring the policies of our
allies toward certain state sponsors of terrorism into harmony
with U.S. policy.
We also assess the capabilities and the willingness, where
that is an issue, of other States to combat terrorism. And we
collect and assess information on terrorists' tactics and
techniques, what they might use against us in any attack today,
and what we are likely to face from them in the future. In this
regard we work very closely with other agencies, such as the
Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration, that
are responsible for security countermeasures designed to
protect specific individuals or facilities.
Let me put special emphasis, Mr. Chairman, on our support
to law enforcement, particularly the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Intelligence performs three important functions
in assisting law enforcement agencies in applying the rule of
law to international terrorists. Intelligence on individual
terrorists has, on numerous occasions, prevented a terrorist
from reaching our shores or, upon reaching it, has enabled the
Immigration and Naturalization Service to stop the person.
Intelligence supports criminal investigations that determine
the culpability for terrorist acts. It does so by using our
foreign intelligence resources to assist the FBI in following
up any lead that points overseas. As I mentioned, it was
intelligence that uncovered Libya's role in the Pan Am 103
bombing, and it was intelligence from CIA and the FBI that
uncovered the Iraqi attempt to assassinate President Bush in
Kuwait in 1993.
Finally, intelligence assists the FBI in finding terrorists
who are hiding abroad. No intelligence officer will ever have
the direct satisfaction of putting handcuffs on a fugitive,
because that is not part of our charter. But on eight occasions
since 1993, CTC has provided pivotal assistance to law
enforcement officials in rendering foreign terrorists into U.S.
hands for prosecution in U.S. courts.
Our assistance to law enforcement, Mr. Chairman, extends
not only to U.S. law enforcement agencies, but to foreign ones
as well. We have numerous counterterrorist partnerships with
foreign intelligence, security, and police services. These
liaison relationships are a major source of information and
insight to us. In return, we can assist foreign authorities in
bringing a fugitive terrorist to justice. We have done so five
times in the last 3 years.
In all of these activities, Mr. Chairman, we are guided by
one overarching strategic goal, to get at the terrorists'
activities as early as possible in the cycle of terrorist
planning and preparation. Ultimately, our goal must be to
increase the President's options for dealing with terrorists,
to provide not only the intelligence required to retaliate
against them, but also the intelligence needed to prevent and
disrupt their operations before danger turns to disaster.
Working in close partnerships with our colleagues in law
enforcement and other parts of the Government, we are making
steady progress on these goals.
I would close with a simple statement, Mr. Chairman, one
that the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI I am sure
share. For those who would attack the United States or its
people, there will be no guaranteed safe haven anywhere in the
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We welcome your questions.
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of George J. Tenet
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to appear before the Committee to
discuss the Intelligence Community's role in the overall U.S. strategy
to combat terrorism. In opening let me stress three points:
International terrorism is a major and growing national security
concern; meeting that threat requires an integrated response by our
diplomatic, defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies;
finally, intelligence is vital to this effort.
Let me tell you what we face, Mr. Chairman, in attacking the
First, terrorists guard their tactics, methods, and objectives more
assiduously than any of the other targets we pursue.
Second, international terrorists are extending their geographic
reach around the world, including to the United States. I refer here to
terrorist operations such as: The World Trade Center bombing; attacks
against Israeli targets in South America by Lebanese Hizballah; the
military training center bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that killed
five U.S. citizens; the truck bomb that killed 19 U.S. service
personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; and the murder of CIA
employees just outside our own front gates.
Third, terrorists are developing increasingly complex ways to
support their operations. Frequently, they use multiple front companies
or nongovernmental organizations to disguise their operations, and they
have the means to move money, materiel, and manpower around the world.
Finally, international terrorists are turning to ever more
sophisticated methods of attack. We saw this in the Aum Shinrikyo use
of nerve gas against commuters in the Tokyo subway two years ago.
Potential terrorist use of chemical, biological, or other such weapons
on a wider scale must be one of our highest priority concerns.
As this snapshot makes clear, Mr. Chairman, our task is not just to
unveil terrorist secrets; it is to stay a step ahead of the terrorist,
who is constantly on the move and constantly seeking more advanced
Now, Mr. Chairman, let me review for you some key aspects of our
approach. Counterterrorism has been a subject of concentrated and
focused effort by the Intelligence Community ever since the DCI
Counterterrorist Center, or CTC, was established in 1986. CTC is not
only the center of intelligence work on terrorism; it also embodies the
effective interagency cooperation that is vital in counterterrorism.
CTC includes personnel from CIA as well as eleven other departments
The components represented include intelligence agencies, such as
DIA and NSA, law enforcement, such as the FBI and Secret Service, and
policy-making agencies such as the State Department.
One of the two deputy chiefs of CTC is a senior FBI officer.
By pulling all of these elements together, the Counterterrorist
Center creates a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. It
harnesses all of the operational, analytical, and technical elements
devoted to counterterrorism.
The results through the years point to the soundness of this idea.
The successes of this approach range from the uncovering of Libya's
role in the bombing of Pan Am 103 to the thwarting of Ramzi Yousef's
attempt to blow a dozen U.S. airliners out of the sky in the Far East
Moreover, CTC has worked with the State Department to provide
extensive counterterrorist training to our allies. Over 18,000
individuals in 50 nations have been trained in counterterrorism over
the past decade.
We are enhancing the capabilities of CTC and of other Intelligence
Community elements with new counterterrorist initiatives launched
during the past year. These initiatives were begun by DCI Deutch and
benefited from additional resources the Congress provided at the outset
of the current fiscal year. They touch upon each of the things we do in
counterterrorism, including human and technical collection of
intelligence, analysis, warning, and response.
For example, we have created a new Terrorism Warning Group whose
sole mission is to make sure that civilian and military leaders are
alerted to specific terrorist threats.
We have created additional all-source analytical positions, to
improve our in-depth understanding of terrorist groups.
We have expanded technical collection operations, so that we can
stay ahead of the terrorists' own improvements in their communications
and use of other technologies.
And, we are expanding our human intelligence operations, including
a substantial increase in CIA operations officers working overseas
against the terrorism problem.
The intelligence on terrorism that we provide to our sister
agencies ranges from the warning information that I just mentioned to
intelligence on the behavior of state sponsors of terrorism. The latter
supports the Department of State's diplomatic efforts to bring the
policies of our allies toward certain state sponsors of terrorism into
harmony with U.S. policy.
We also assess the capabilities--and the willingness, where that is
an issue--of other states to combat terrorism.
And, we collect and assess information on terrorists' tactics and
techniques--what they might use against us in any attack today, and
what we are likely to face from them in the future.
In this regard, we work very closely with other agencies, such as
the Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration, that are
responsible for security countermeasures designed to protect specific
individuals or facilities.
Let me put special emphasis on our support to law enforcement--
particularly the FBI. Intelligence performs three important functions
in assisting law enforcement agencies in applying the rule of law to
Intelligence on individual terrorists has, on numerous occasions,
prevented a terrorist from reaching our shores--or, upon reaching it,
has enabled the Immigration and Naturalization Service to stop the
Intelligence supports criminal investigations that determine
culpability for terrorist acts. It does so by using our foreign
intelligence resources to assist the FBI in following up any lead that
points overseas. As I mentioned, it was intelligence that uncovered
Libya's role in the Pan Am 103 bombing. And it was intelligence from
CIA and the FBI that uncovered the Iraqi attempt to assassinate Former
President Bush in Kuwait in 1993.
Finally, intelligence assists the FBI in finding terrorists who are
hiding abroad. No intelligence officer will ever have the direct
satisfaction of putting handcuffs on a fugitive, because that is not
part of our charter. But on eight occasions since 1993, CTC has
provided pivotal assistance to law enforcement officials in rendering
foreign terrorists into U.S. hands, for prosecution in U.S. courts.
Our assistance to law enforcement extends not only to U.S. law
enforcement agencies, but to foreign ones as well. We have numerous
counterterrorist partnerships with foreign intelligence, security, and
police services. These liaison relationships are a major source of
information and insight to us. In return, we can assist foreign
authorities in bringing a fugitive terrorist to justice; we have done
so five times in the last three years.
In all these activities, we are guided by one overarching strategic
goal; to get at the terrorists' activities as early as possible in the
cycle of terrorist planning and preparation. Ultimately, our goal must
be to increase the President's options for dealing with terrorists--to
provide not only the intelligence required to retaliate against them
but also the intelligence needed to prevent and disrupt their
operations before danger turns to disaster. Working in close
partnership with our colleagues in law enforcement and other parts of
the government, we are making steady progress on these goals.
Let me close with a simple statement that I'm sure summarizes the
view of my colleagues here as accurately as it expresses mine: for
those who would attack the United States or its people, there will be
no guaranteed safe haven anywhere in the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would be glad to discuss these topics in
greater detail in executive session.
Chairman Stevens. Thank you. Of course that is what we want
to assure. Gentlemen, could we agree on a length of time? There
are eight of us here, and I am sure that time is not unlimited.
We want to go to our classified room before the afternoon is
over. Can we agree on 5 minutes of questioning apiece before we
withdraw? Would that be acceptable? Very well.
Let me just ask a couple of plain questions here. Madam
Attorney General, do you believe we have adequate laws to deal
with terrorism now? Are there any defects that you have found
in our existing laws dealing with our ability to combat
Ms. Reno. There are some suggestions that can be made, and
we will be happy to furnish those to you. I think the major
effort that we have to undertake is to make sure that we have
the expertise in technology, and with respect to weapons of
mass destruction; that we are able to match wits with the best
of the terrorists; that we constantly work with this committee
to ensure that we have the necessary equipment--and you have
been just superb in supporting us in that effort; that we
understand the threats against our information infrastructure
and understand what the computer and cyber tools, if you will,
can do. This effort is going to require a close coordination
with this committee.
COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANCE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY [CALEA]
We have got to maintain our ability to pursue electronic
surveillance according to the prescribed constitutional
standards that we now adhere to, but we have got to have the
wherewithal to keep up, through the funding of CALEA, with the
development in technology and to adjust our technology to these
new developments. We are going to have to be able to deal with
the issue of encryption, and obviously that will be a major
issue before Congress. These are some of the points that I
think are important. Director Freeh might want to add more.
Mr. Freeh. I think the overall statutory authorities are
very strong and give the FBI the capability that we need. I
would simply echo what the Attorney General has said. Fifty-
nine percent of all of the Federal wiretap orders relate to
national security, either counterterrorism or foreign
counterintelligence. In other words, 59 percent of the
wiretaps, Federal wiretaps that are authorized, relate to
national security. Without that capability and coverage, we
would be out of the counterterrorism and counterintelligence
business, as far as I am concerned.
The CALEA funding is critical. The Congress supported that
in 1994. We have asked for additional funding for 1998. We are
going to have to deal with the encryption problem. It is a
commercial issue. It is also a public safety issue. It is a
difficult issue. We have had several hearings on it, but this
year by all indications the Congress is going to act on that.
If we write law enforcement and national security out of the
encryption legislation, our job will be made very difficult and
Chairman Stevens. Do you believe that we need to address
the question of the courts? Are we going to require separate
courts to deal with the terrorist problem as it increases?
Ms. Reno. I do not think you will require separate courts,
other than as we have addressed it through the alien removal
court that was authorized by Congress and that we are in the
process of implementing. It is comparable to the FISA court,
but I do not think that you will, in the foreseeable future,
need separate courts to address the issue of prosecutions of
Chairman Stevens. I will keep the rest of my questions
until we have the classified section.
Senator Gregg. I would like to preface my questions with a
comment. First, I want to thank the chairman again, and second
I want to thank the agencies for aggressively pursuing the
terrorism threat. But the issue remains, are we doing enough
and are we well enough coordinated? My question is, to you as a
group, how is it coordinated? We have got two functioning
counterterrorism centers, one at FBI, one at CIA. We have
literally thousands of different sources of information, and we
have at least four major agencies that have significant turf
responsibility here: State, Defense, Justice, and CIA. My sense
is that although there is a lot of work toward coordination at
the very most senior levels, but at the lower levels, there is
not necessarily a constant interface for coordination.
For example, Attorney General, I wonder when was the last
time that the President convened the four major agencies to
discuss the terrorism threat, and whether we are doing enough?
My question, therefore, is how is coordination proceeding now,
and is there a need for further coordination, not for the
purposes of addressing a threat which has occurred--I believe
we are doing well in that area to the extent that you can do
well in that area--but for the purposes of addressing potential
threats, such as the Director just mentioned in his comments?
COORDINATION AND COOPERATION
Ms. Reno. Based on PDD-39, I think that there is excellent
coordination underway. I would like to just take you through
some of the steps that have been developed. You make the
reference to the fact that there are two counterterrorism
centers, but I would let both Director Freeh and Director Tenet
address that issue. I think, from my discussions with them and
with former Director Deutch, that this has, in fact,
strengthened our capacity to detect vulnerabilities and to
prevent terrorist acts before they occur. By the CIA's efforts
abroad and the FBI's efforts here, we are able to interrelate
these and bring them together. I think it has been an excellent
example of the cooperation that is engaged in, not just in talk
but in actual day-to-day fact. The fact that the FBI now has
its Domestic Terrorism Center up and running with 16 agencies
there, not just the 4, because critical to this cooperative
effort is the Department of Defense with respect to weapons of
mass destruction. That is underway.
What we are trying to do is reach out, both internationally
by marrying the two centers so that we ensure that we have
linked any information that is relevant, but we are also trying
to reach out to State and local law enforcement across the
country in a comprehensive way to make sure that we get from
them leads and tips and issues that should be pursued, and that
it is again meshed. I think the Domestic Terrorism Center is
doing a really good job of building that capacity.
At the same time, we have the issue that I have addressed
before and that you have been very responsive to, which is the
CITAC, which goes to the issue of computer crime and how we
coordinate in that area. We have much to do in that area. The
whole issue with respect to cyber crime staggers the
imagination. When you look at our commercial systems that are
now computerized--telecommunications, transportation, banking,
and finance, the whole system with respect to gas and oil
structures, we have got so much to do in terms of developing
the capacity with the private sector to prevent attack by
identifying vulnerabilities and working as a partner with the
private sector. That is why it is so important that we support
the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure
Protection, because that Commission reaches out to the private
sector as a critical player in this whole effort, to make sure
that we are linked together in what we do to identify the
vulnerability and what we do to prevent the attack.
These are some of the efforts, but then we have developed--
and I think again both the FBI and the CIA have a threat
warning system that permits the CIA to provide appropriate
threat warnings for international concerns and the FBI to
provide appropriate threat warnings for domestic concerns. I
think that is working.
Again, we are constantly trying to identify areas of
weakness and build on it, and we would like to work with you in
that regard, should you detect any.
With respect to our response, you mentioned that we respond
fairly well, but we are constantly trying to work on that to
make sure that we are coordinated. The State Department has
jurisdiction abroad for the response to a terrorist act
affecting a U.S. citizen. The FBI has it domestically. We have
developed FEST, which is the foreign emergency support team,
that responds immediately, such as occurred earlier this year,
and then we also have the domestic emergency support team that,
for example, responded in Atlanta prior to the Olympics to
prepare in a coordinated way with all of the agencies involved
to address the problem before it happens, and will be
responding in other areas where there are events or matters
that are important and present possible vulnerabilities.
With respect to training, we are doing so much with the
Department of Defense in trying to develop coordinated training
with respect to threats of weapons of mass destruction, again
working with State and local officials. Later on Director
Freeh, I think, can give you more details.
So I see great coordination underway, not just in talk and
in concept, but also in actual day-to-day operations, and we
have got to work even harder at it.
Senator Gregg. Director Tenet.
Mr. Tenet. Senator, one of the things I would say in
response is the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Department
of State, the Department of Defense are our customers. We have
a responsibility to articulate threats to our customers,
particularly overseas. In the aftermath of Khobar Towers one of
the things we have found is, you are correct, there are
thousands of strands of information that come to us. What we
have focused on is articulating and sending back out that pipe
the information in a way that a commander on the ground can
differentiate between information that is actionable and that
which is not actionable. There are real instances in the last 6
months of either our cooperation with the Department of State
or the FBI where we have averted bombs at two American
Embassies at locations overseas.
So this cooperation is, I think, quite vigorous, and the
interaction of the policymaker with us is also quite vigorous.
This community, this counterterrorism community is as well
organized as any community as exists in our Government in terms
of both the policy coordination and the action that flows from
it. So in supporting these customers, they all have different
needs. My job is to ensure that when we get this information it
is packaged and disseminated in a way that they understand its
importance and its relevance and they can act to do something
about it, otherwise it is not very relevant to them.
Chairman Stevens. Senator Campbell.
Senator Campbell. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Just maybe a couple
of quick ones. I just day before yesterday visited Colorado
Springs where a fire had been set to the IRS office. It was in
a public building. There were a lot of other rentals in the
building too, real estate agencies, a couple of computer
companies all in the same building. I was wondering if you
could give me just your insight on how we better protect
Federal buildings if they are not all Federal in scope. If we
make it, like we do here, with electronic devices before you
can go in and out the door, that would certainly inconvenience
all the other tenants. How should we handle that?
Ms. Reno. Following the events in Oklahoma City in April
1995, we convened a group to assess the vulnerability of
Federal structures and made recommendations to the President.
He created a group to follow through on our recommendations
and, as I understand it, they have made a report. I will be
happy to provide the materials to you. There will be follow up
now with regard to Federal agencies that are in buildings with
other agencies, with other private sector agencies and where
the Federal Government is not the principal tenant of the
building. With respect to those buildings where the Government
is the principal tenant or GSA owns it, we have tried to follow
through in terms of improving security in those structures, and
we will continue to work with the President's group to follow
Senator Campbell. If you could provide at least me, or
maybe the rest of the committee would like to see that, but I
My second question, Mr. Chairman, is maybe rather
rhetorical, but I would like your view on it. If I, as a
private citizen, encourage somebody, incited them to violence
against a Federal agency or a Federal official, then I guess I
also could be charged with a crime for inciting them to commit
a crime. Is that right?
Ms. Reno. Generally that would be true, but you have got to
be very careful in terms of hypotheticals as to the what ifs.
Senator Campbell. Well, I am thinking, you know,
individuals to my knowledge can be held accountable if they
encourage terrorism or if they advocate it and a crime happens
because of it. If I went down and bought some ad space on a
local radio show and I encouraged people to go commit an act of
violence, I suppose I could probably be held accountable for
that too. But if a radio show encourages violence themselves,
apparently they cannot. I know that there is a first amendment
right involved in there, and it is a hypothetical and all that,
but I would like your views on that.
I am thinking of one--this is not really an act of
violence, it was a random crime. The man that shot up the White
House the year before last, Duran, he had called our office
before he did that and indicated he was going to do something
very similar to that. We got a whole bunch of calls that same
morning from people who were mad at Government and were really
venting their frustrations, so we did not take it too seriously
because we got so many calls. Probably every Senator here has
got calls in his office from people who are angry at Government
and they are going to get their guns and protect themselves and
they are not going to let the new world order take over, and so
on. This guy did it because he was encouraged by a radio show
he had heard. I know that some radio shows have even used the
words they should go out and shoot a fed right between the
eyes, that kind of thing, but under our system they are pretty
well absolved, are they not, because it is a first amendment
right, even if they encourage those acts?
Ms. Reno. Again, to aid and abet terrorism would be against
the law. You would have to look at each case on a case-by-case
basis. I would ask Director Freeh to suggest how the FBI would
PROSECUTION OF CRIMES
Mr. Freeh. A crime can certainly be predicated and
prosecuted if it filled all the necessary elements. The blind
sheik, Sheik Rahman, as you recall, was convicted for, among
other things, solicitation of criminal sedition. It is an old
statute but one which certainly has viability. There was an
individual from Afghanistan, who encouraged, announced, and
stated, as he has on previous occasions, that military targets
in Saudi Arabia should be and are targets for attack, and
solicited people to perform those attacks against our military
personnel. That probably meets all of the elements of a
criminal offense, and one which we would look at and prosecute
vigorously, as we have in other cases.
But it would depend on the circumstances. If someone is
giving a speech or a radio announcer is going through a dialog
which might be related to that, it does not mean that they are
promoting criminal activity. However, you are not immunized
from prosecution because you do it in a first amendment
context. You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. That is a
crime. It would depend on the circumstances whether or not we
would investigate and whether the Department of Justice would
Senator Campbell. You cannot yell fire in a theater, but
you can recommend shooting Federal agents. Thanks, Mr.
Chairman Stevens. Thank you. Senator Bennett. We are
following the early bird rule today.
Senator Bennett. I thought Senator Hollings arrived before
Chairman Stevens. Did he? No; I have kept track.
Senator Bennett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The first issue
that comes to mind for a Senator from Utah is clearly the
Olympics scheduled in Utah in 2002. As good as we are, we are
clearly not yet prepared in Utah in terms of our law
enforcement and communications capability to handle the
possibility of terrorists targeting the Olympics for maximum
international exposure. So I want to thank you, Madam Attorney
General, for your support in the past, and I hope by the thanks
to stimulate continued support in the future, for Justice
Department help in seeing that security issues are addressed at
the Olympics. Mr. Chairman, we are going to come to this
committee for appropriations help because the Olympics are a
clear target for people all over the world.
Would you have any comment on that and your attitude toward
OLYMPIC LESSONS LEARNED
Ms. Reno. Obviously we gained a great understanding of the
different roles that can be played through our experience in
Atlanta. We have already had representatives of the Department
of Justice out in Utah meeting with people who are on the scene
and developing long-range plans with the FBI and with the other
appropriate Federal agencies to address the concerns that I
think arise in a situation like that, and we look forward to
working with everybody in that effort.
Senator Bennett. We would appreciate that, and do
appreciate your past concern. Mr. Chairman, picking up on what
the Senator from Colorado had to say, my office has taken off
of the Internet information that is currently available. Let me
read to you a few excerpts from this information targeting mink
Economic sabotage is what they listen to. There are various
types of actions that are very simple, smashing windows,
squirting super glue into the locks, spray painting, filling
bell peppers or Christmas ornaments with paint and paint
bombing the building. To be effective, a place should be hit
repeatedly. Just be careful and vary your schedule so that the
police are not waiting for you when you go back.
Fire is a tool. It can be your friend if you respect its
power or your foe if you do not. Nothing does the amount of
damage that fire can. Try doing $1 million damage with only
hand tools. Arson also has no statute of limitations. It is a
very serious crime. If you get caught you could spend the next
several years in prison thinking about what went wrong. Be sure
that you follow all the security precautions vigorously. Here
is how to build a simple incendiary device that can be used for
burning both buildings and vehicles, followed with very careful
instructions. Tip, arson is a big time felony, so wear gloves
and old clothes that you can throw away through the entire
process, and be very careful not to leave a single shred of
It goes on and on. There is a section on electrically timed
incendiary devices. The thing that concerns me the most is that
at the end of this document, the following list of targets has
been compiled from numerous different sources. The majority of
the targets on this list are in my State. I am talking about
the Animal Liberation Front that currently takes credit
publicly for over 700 acts of violence against mink farmers and
others involved in the legal fur trade. The Salt Lake
newspapers have done a profile on this to describe how they
attack these commercial enterprises and how they are starting
to hire street gangs to do it for them so as to remove them one
I would like to ask you, Director Freeh, do you see any
difference between bombing a black church or bombing an
abortion clinic or bombing a fur farming operation?
Mr. Freeh. No; I do not. I think anytime someone is
achieving any perceived agenda with bombs and violence, they
are clearly violating Federal laws as well as probably State
and local laws.
Senator Bennett. I would ask you, following up on what the
Senator from Colorado raised on this issue of free speech, to
plug into the Internet and see if there is not some indication
that pretty clear terrorist activity is not only being
encouraged but instructed with this kind of specifics as to how
to build a fire bomb, where to place it for maximum damage, and
so on, and then a list of targets as to where to go to find
people that should be subjected to this kind of thing. I would
hope the FBI would focus on that.
Mr. Freeh. Yes, Sir.
Ms. Reno. Senator, in that regard we have submitted a
report as Congress has required with respect to such
information on the Internet, and we would look forward to
working with you in terms of legislation. I will ask that my
staff brief you on whatever is appropriate for a briefing with
respect to this matter.
Senator Bennett. I thank you. I almost did not raise it in
open session, keeping it for the closed session, because I do
not want to give any more publicity to it than it has already
had. But I decided that the people that would want it already
have it, and maybe the best thing to do to combat it is to
raise it in open session so that we can have this kind of
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MADELINE ALBRIGHT
Chairman Stevens. We would all welcome that information,
Madam Attorney General. I state for the record that Secretary
of State Madeline Albright has requested an opportunity to
submit testimony for the record, and we would be pleased to
receive her testimony. We are also willing to receive
additional statements from those who are involved in the
intelligence and law enforcement community with regard to this
[The statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State,
Department of State
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee: Thank you for the
opportunity to submit this Statement for the Record to provide a brief
overview of U.S. policy toward international terrorism and the role of
the Department of State in coordinating U.S. policy and activities to
counter the threat.
Although my schedule does not permit me to testify in person today,
I want to emphasize that the struggle against international terrorism
is one of our government's top foreign policy priorities. Terrorism
poses a dangerous threat to American citizens and to our interests in a
safe and stable world. Terrorism is a threat that is not going to go
away. We must continue our efforts to deter it, contain it and
encourage other countries to do the same. Coordination within our
government and coordination with other governments is a major part of
THE TERRORIST THREAT
The continuing threat was outlined to Congress on April 30 when the
State Department released its annual survey of international terrorism.
The publication, ``Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1996'' reports that
terrorism abroad continues to impose a heavy human, political and
economic toll on the foreign policy and security interests of the
United States and many other nations.
Although the number of international terrorist attacks fell to 296
last year, compared with 440 in 1995, the death toll worldwide in 1996
rose to 311, compared with 177 in 1995. Twenty-four Americans were
killed. This toll indicates a greater ruthlessness by terrorists and a
growing pattern of inflicting mass casualties.
The threat of terrorism to American interests was demonstrated in
the truck bombing of the Al Khobar apartment complex near Dhahran,
Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American airman, and suicide bombings in
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where the casualties included eight American
citizens killed or injured.
Identifying, monitoring and defeating international terrorists is a
more challenging task today because of their diverse character,
organization, and motivations. In the past, established secular
terrorist groups, revolutionaries, and state sponsors of terrorism were
in the vanguard. Today, some states like Iran are still very active in
terrorism, but involvement by other states has declined, because of
growing international consensus against terrorism, in general, and, in
the case of Libya, sanctions. Today's terrorists vary widely from
relatively established extremist groups such as HAMAS and the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to cultist, such as the Aum Shinrikyo in
Japan and apparently ad hoc groups such as the one that attacked the
World Trade Center.
Terrorists also have increasing access to powerful explosives and
weapons and are using technology such as computers, cellular phones and
encryption. The threat of use of weapons of mass destruction, chemical,
biological or nuclear, by terrorists is another problem. We are taking
extensive measures to detect and deter such threats.
To deal effectively with the variety of terrorist threats, U.S.
counterterrorism efforts abroad are grounded on these basic policies:
--We make no concessions to terrorist demands, recognizing that to do
so only invites further terrorism.
--We are determined to seek out relentlessly and punish terrorists
wherever they may be, using the combined assets of U.S. law
enforcement, diplomacy, intelligence, and, if necessary, our
military assets. We have a long memory and reach when it comes
to terrorists who attack Americans.
--We insist that terrorism is a crime, whatever its motives or
causes, and we promote the rule of law to criminalize it and
bring terrorists to justice.
--We designate states which sponsor terrorism, imposing a wide range
of U.S. sanctions against them. And we encourage other nations
to do the same.
--We seek maximum cooperation from other governments, recognizing
that, as terrorism is increasingly transnational, international
cooperation is critical.
COORDINATED INTERAGENCY PROCESS
Effective counterterrorism calls for the skills and resources of
many U.S. Government agencies. Coordination is essential. The President
has designated the Department of State, in keeping with its foreign
policy responsibilities, as the lead agency for coordination of our
counterterrorism policy and operations abroad. The FBI has been
designated as the lead agency for countering terrorism in the United
When international terrorist crises arise, an emergency response
team, led by S/CT and including crisis management experts from various
agencies, as needed, can be deployed promptly anywhere in the world.
The team's job is to respond to requests from the U.S. Ambassador on
the scene and the host government for advice and assistance in
resolving the crisis. Flexibility and responsiveness are the watchwords
of this team.
The Department of State and other agencies also participate in
counterterrorism exercises--sometimes with friendly states abroad--that
are critical for maintaining readiness to meet new threats. They range
from ``table top'' simulations to actual deployments. Scenarios include
terrorist hostage taking, hijackings, and threats or attacks involving
weapons of mass destruction.
The Departments of State and Justice and the FBI work closely
together on law enforcement aspects of counterterrorism abroad, and
with foreign governments concerned--for example, when the FBI
investigates terrorist crimes against U.S. interests abroad and in
cases involving the apprehension and extradition of terrorists overseas
to bring them to trial in the United States. Close coordination between
our Ambassadors and host governments abroad, rapid reaction, and
intricate planning are critical to success in such operations.
The strengthening of international law and increased adherence to
the ten international conventions on terrorism, and expanding
extradition treaties have also enhanced our efforts against
international terrorism. The U.S. has led the way in ratifying and
bringing into effect these conventions.
The U.S. initiative in the Group of Eight last year led to the
introduction of a new draft treaty on Suppression of Terrorist Bombing
that is now being negotiated at the U.N.
STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM, CONSULTATIONS
Identifying state sponsors of terrorism, enforcing U.S. sanctions
against them, and attempting to mobilize allied support are important
weapons in our foreign policy arsenal. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria,
North Korea and Cuba have been designated by the Secretary of State as
state sponsors. Of these, Iran is the most flagrant violator, and we
have imposed a variety of comprehensive sanctions to change Iranian
behavior. We are also active in working with other states to ensure
strict compliance with United Nations sanctions against Libya, Sudan
and Iraq. In the case of Libya, for example we are determined to bring
to justice, in a Scottish or U.S. court, as mandated by the Security
Council, the Libyan government agents who have been indicted for the
bombing of Pan American flight 103 in 1988.
State also organizes regular bilateral consultations with foreign
governments worldwide. Justice, FBI, the intelligence community and DOD
form part of the interagency U.S. Government team which meets with its
overseas counterparts, as we are doing in Spain and Italy this week.
There also are increasing multilateral efforts to combat terrorism.
We have worked in the Group of Seven, plus Russia, for example, to
tighten cooperation among the major industrial states. The twenty-five
counterterrorism recommendations of the G-7/P-8 Ministerial held in
Paris last July are a solid basis for international cooperation. The
United States plans to give this effort further momentum at the Summit
we will host in Denver in June.
We are also working with the European Union and the Organization of
American States on counterterrorism cooperation. A series of
conferences last year included a meeting in March of counterterrorism
experts from the Middle East, whose governments took part in the Sharm
El Sheikh Summit.
The State Department meanwhile supports efforts of Treasury, FBI
and Justice to combat fundraising by foreign terrorist organizations in
the U.S. and to encourage other governments to take steps against
terrorism fund raising. These efforts are discussed in many of our
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
We know of members' concerns about the threat of terrorism from
biological, chemical and nuclear agents and we share that concern.
Improved technology is an important tool for countering these as well
as more conventional terrorist threats. The U.S. Government has a
Technical Support Working Group, known as the TSWG which is comprised
of 50 government agencies and operates a vigorous program of research,
development, and rapid prototyping of antiterrorism and
The goal of the TSWG is to develop new technologies which can be
used by many federal, state and local agencies. There is special
emphasis on explosives detection technology and a strong focus on
detection of and protection against terrorist use of materials of mass
destruction. The Department of State, through S/CT, provides policy
guidance for the TSWG program, and the Department of Defense is the
executive agent. Both agencies also provide funding. State also leads
three bilateral R&D programs with Canada, the United Kingdom and
Israel. They also contribute funds and expertise, thus creating a
strong multiplier effect for the U.S. Government's investment.
OTHER COUNTERTERRORISM ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Within the Department of State, other bureaus also play important
roles and work with other agencies:
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is part of the
intelligence community and provides timely, around the clock,
intelligence and analysis on terrorism. INR also compiles and maintains
our computerized TIPOFF system, an important border control mechanism
which links visa sections at our missions abroad to a master data base
of names of terrorists, criminals and drug traffickers.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs, charged with the protection of
Americans overseas, works closely with S/CT and the Bureau of
Diplomatic Security to provide warnings to Americans overseas about
terrorist and other risks.
The Office of the Legal Adviser provides daily guidance on all
legal aspects of counterterrorism, treaties and extradition issues and
works closely with the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Finally, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has the role of
protecting U.S. missions and diplomats overseas and in the United
States. It also implements State's Antiterrorism Training Assistance
(ATA) Program which has trained about 18,000 foreign officials, and the
State Department's terrorism information rewards program.
In sum, there is an aggressive, coherent, well coordinated
interagency effort under the leadership of the Department of State to
combat international terrorism and mobilize support from other nations
abroad in this campaign.
But good counterterrorism policies and programs cannot do this job
alone. The United States also needs to maintain its leadership in
dealing with a host of problems and conflicts abroad that, if
neglected, can lead to terrorism, other forms of violence, and even
war. We must continue to foster strong relationships with nations
around the world, whose help we need to pursue terrorists. We cannot do
Preserving the leadership of the United States in dealing with a
broad range of threats to our national security also requires adequate
resources for Foreign Affairs.
The United States has a proud record of leadership in combating
international terrorism. We are determined to maintain and strengthen
our capabilities against the dynamic and varied threat, to keep
terrorists on the defensive, where they belong, to bring them to
justice, and to minimize the risk they pose to civil society.
Chairman Stevens. Senator Hollings.
Senator Hollings. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank
the chairman of our subcommittee, Senator Gregg. In the
subcommittee and under Senator Gregg's leadership, we have
increased the budget for terrorism in the last 4 years some 400
percent. We have gone from $90 million to $397 million. So
counterterrorism has not been wanting of money in that sense.
But on the other hand, Director Tenet now says that the most
secretive of targets is terrorism, and all three witnesses here
agree that there is superb coordination.
I have a question for you, General Reno, specifically since
you represent the Immigration Service and they are not at the
table. If you go to 22d Street in New York City, they have
these five, six story buildings that are full of these stores,
block upon blocks of stores, where counterfeit goods for
terrorism activities are sold. The profits are used to finance
Hamas, Hizballah, and other terrorist activities. Now, the FBI
was good enough to take my staff there with some of New York's
finest, and, of course, the obvious question was since we were
told that they were mostly illegal aliens in all of these
operations, why did the Immigration Service not come around and
arrest them? Let me ask you that question, Attorney General
Reno. What is the matter? If you are all so coordinated and so
secretive, why is this going on in the wide open on 22d Street?
Go on up there this afternoon.
MULTIPLE AGENCY COORDINATION
Ms. Reno. With respect to the coordination between the INS
and the FBI and known terrorists, I cannot, while we are in
open session, describe it in very specific detail, but I can
tell you that there has been effective coordination. Director
Freeh and Commissioner Meisner and I have discussed it.
With respect to the deportation of illegal aliens, what we
are trying to do with respect to immigration strategy is to
focus on illegal immigration and prevent it at the border. This
committee has been very supportive in terms of the initiative
with respect to the Border Patrol and immigration inspectors on
the border. At the same time we are focused on the deportation
of criminal aliens from State prisons, from Federal prisons,
but as well we are trying to develop, with the resources as you
are giving them to us, the capacity for immigration
investigators and inspectors in local areas to work with the
police in identifying illegal aliens who are engaged in
criminal activity. It may be that the police do not have
sufficient information with which to charge them, but it is our
hope that we can develop, as we gain the resources, the
capacity to identify them sufficient to deport them.
Senator Hollings. But the FBI is pointing them out. Here is
where the terrorists make their money, here is where they
finance terrorism. Look at all of the buildings there, block
upon block of these buildings, and most of them are illegal
aliens, we were told. In fact when the staff went there,
everything immediately closed up. I mean, they pled guilty. So
there is no doubt in my mind that the information we received
from the FBI was correct, and it is not so secretive, George. I
would say it is wide open, and I think we have to get onto
Now, another concern I have regarding your coordination is
that I think there is a misplaced coordination with respect to
our overseas operations. In my experience, and I started with
the agency back in the fifties, you do not have any CIA agents
running around in full cover overseas saying I am a CIA agent,
do you? No, sir. That is right. Because it is quite obvious as
a matter of foreign policy that other countries would resent
the idea that you had openly tried to spy or obtain
information, especially with respect to law enforcement. It is
not coordination that the Director of the CIA and the Director
of the FBI are having between themselves, but it is
coordination with the host country.
Right to the point, with the President in Mexico now, I
would not count on a Mexican agent coming up here to enforce
the law on drugs, and why should Mexico in turn count on any
DEA agents or others running around Mexico enforcing laws? It
would make them look like a second-rate country, and it
reflects the arrogance of the United States. I happen to agree
with Mexico on that point. And because you are asking for more
money, and this is the subcommittee that Senator Gregg and I
have, we are going to resist paying for thousands more agents
going overseas. I can understand Saudi Arabia saying look here,
we will enforce our own laws. Every country says that.
So let us get right to the point--we love the coordination
between the departments, but the primary function of
intelligence gathering overseas is going to be with the Central
Intelligence Agency, not with FBI agents running around. Can an
FBI agent run around with a gun in Paris?
Ms. Reno. Senator----
Senator Hollings. Yes, Ma'am.
Ms. Reno. The prime responsibility for intelligence
collection overseas will be that of the CIA. But the CIA is not
trained to collect information that can be admissible in our
courts, and we are faced--when you just hear the dissertation
on what the Internet can do in terms of bombs and everything
else, we are faced with a world where borders are shrinking
and, because of cyber tools, the borders are nonexistent. We
see through, organized crime and through international crime of
so many different sorts, the impact of crime felt round the
world. When a man can sit in his kitchen in St. Petersburg,
Russia, and steal by his computer from a bank in New York City,
we have got to have a law enforcement capacity that can make
sure that those people are apprehended.
Senator Hollings. In St. Petersburg--is that your point? We
should have an FBI officer there in St. Petersburg? Let us say
he is standing right in the room and what you say just has
occurred. He has used his computer illegally to mess up bank
accounts at Chase Manhattan, so that is a crime.
Ms. Reno. We have found----
Senator Hollings. And you think that we should have an FBI
agent there to arrest him?
Ms. Reno. No; I do not think we should have an FBI agent
there to arrest the man.
Senator Hollings. I am talking about stationing--you see,
you do not have the Secretary of State here at this hearing.
The State Department has the primary responsibility for
terrorism overseas. Period. I am trying to get that
coordination clarified, because it goes right to the heart of
the foreign policy of the United States. We are trying to make
friends. We are trying to hold some alliances together, but we
are not going to do it if we have that FBI agent roaming around
in St. Petersburg looking for crime.
Ms. Reno. I do not suggest that an FBI agent should be in
St. Petersburg roaming around looking for crime. What we have
determined through the investigation of such crimes is that we
need the capacity to coordinate with foreign law enforcement to
develop the evidence----
Senator Hollings. Ah, now you are getting with the program.
With foreign law enforcement. That is my point.
Ms. Reno [continuing]. To develop the evidence, and to do
it in a procedure that can result in somebody being held
accountable. With respect to foreign terrorism against U.S.
officials, the State Department has the lead, but in the system
devised by PDD-39 it is still the FBI that is responsible for
trying to develop the evidence that can result in indictments
being returned in the appropriate venue in this country and
these people being brought to justice.
I think you were here when I gave some description of what
can happen. It may take us some time to bring them to justice,
but we can get them extradited, brought to this country, tried,
when they harm or commit terrorist acts against U.S. interests
Senator Hollings. I know the rationale. Madam Attorney
General, are you requesting additional FBI agents for overseas
Ms. Reno. Not at this point, sir. You have funded us, and
you have been very generous in your funding. Senator, I think
you have approved the plan. Let me have Director Freeh clarify
Mr. Freeh. Senator, the eight offices that we seek to open
over the next 2 years are offices which were approved by the
two committees in the FBI's 5-year plan which you asked for and
which we submitted. This plan has the support of the State
Department I would add.
Senator Hollings. I understand. We can get into it in
Chairman Stevens. Senator Shelby.
Senator Shelby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Reno or
Director Freeh, does our, or does your traditional definition
of terrorism include such things as computer attacks intended
to damage our telecommunications or transportation
infrastructure? Director Freeh?
Mr. Freeh. Yes, sir, it clearly would.
Senator Shelby. That is included?
Mr. Freeh. That is included. Any threat against the
national security, particularly one directed by a foreign agent
or a foreign power, would clearly be in the category of
Senator Shelby. What about a terrorist group that is an ad
hoc group that is not part of, as far as we know--it would
still be covered?
Mr. Freeh. We would define that as an act of terrorism.
Senator Shelby. So you have the legal structure to deal
Mr. Freeh. Yes; both to investigate it and to prosecute it.
Senator Shelby. Mr. Freeh and Mr. Tenet, in order to
adequately address the security problems that we are having
around the world, what are we doing about language specialists
who speak Arabic and Farsi and so forth? We got into some of
this with Mr. Tenet the other day in the Intelligence
Committee, but I would just like to know about the FBI.
Mr. Freeh. One of the initiatives which was funded by this
Congress and particularly this committee for 1997 was the
establishment of translation centers. We have one now which has
been established in New York City. We are recruiting and
testing, and subjecting to background interviews, people who
will staff this center. We have about 300 of the 385 linguists
on board filling those positions. We borrow linguist very
heavily from the Department of Defense, who have been very
generous in giving us coverage, particularly with those who
speak Farsi and some of the more difficult languages.
Senator Shelby. Is this adequate at this point, or are you
going to always continue to strive to get more language
Mr. Freeh. When we fill all these positions, we feel that
with the supplements that we get from the military, as well as
other contract linguists, we will have enough people to do our
job, but I see it increasing over the next few years.
Senator Shelby. Mr. Tenet.
Mr. Tenet. Senator, as you know, we have talked about this
at the Intelligence Committee, but with regard to our hard
targets we are placing an enormous emphasis on language
development and capability. We will not be able to provide the
analytical or operational expertise required unless we go down
this road, and we are going to embark on a major 10-year
Senator Shelby. Is this not a change of some degree from
what you needed in the past?
Mr. Tenet. Well, Senator, I think it is fair to say that it
is, but it is not just this target that requires it.
Senator Shelby. It is all over, is it not?
Mr. Tenet. It is the kind of difficult issues we face
around the world that require this language capability, so it
will be a major initiative.
Senator Shelby. Are you making progress there?
Mr. Tenet. Well, Senator, it is slow. You do not get people
up to level 3 or level 4 language capability over night. You
have to also do the work every day as well, so it will be a
long-term project on our part.
Senator Shelby. Ms. Reno, dealing with the terrorist threat
and organizations, some are state sponsored, or at least we
have reason to believe that they are, and some of them are ad
hoc groups that are hard to probably totally connect them to a
state-sponsor group. Do these ad hoc groups constitute a
greater or a lesser threat, or is there any way to measure
Ms. Reno. I think Director Freeh can address that. I look
at them all as threats.
Mr. Freeh. I think it varies in scope. If Syria or Iran
hypothetically are sponsoring an attack against the United
States, they bring huge resources, operational resources, and
capabilities that a smaller group would not have. On the other
hand, a small group, as we saw in the World Trade Center
bombing, acting, as far as the evidence revealed, without any
foreign state sponsorship, was able to mount enough resources
covertly to almost topple one of the Trade towers. So I think
it would vary from situation to situation.
Senator Shelby. Could we expect in the future perhaps more
ad hoc groups rather than just rogue nations? I know you will
have some of both sponsoring this directly and indirectly.
Mr. Freeh. It certainly appears to be the trend. Of the
seven nations who we have identified as sponsors of terrorism,
some are more active than the others. With respect to many of
these groups, even groups such as Hamas and Hizballah which
operate with foreign state support, there are many, many groups
and I see them proliferating and perhaps becoming a greater
threat than the organized state sponsors themselves.
Senator Shelby. But it is a heck of a threat, whoever
sponsors it, is it not?
Mr. Freeh. Yes.
Senator Shelby. It is just how you compete with it.
Mr. Freeh. Absolutely.
Senator Shelby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Stevens. Senator Reid.
INTEGRATED FORCE TRAINING
Senator Reid. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As our military
forces have learned, integrated force training in realistic
environments is the best preparation for operational
deployment. We have also learned that investments in realistic
training have been returned many times over through these
operational savings in costs and in lives. So counterterrorism
training, I think, defines operational environments that are
also difficult to meet. We have a large facility in Nevada that
is larger than a number of the States in the Union that is
called the Nevada test site. The Nevada test site, you know,
you can set off high explosives there, have chemical testing
facilities that are operational there, there are tunnels,
buildings that have been developed over the years. It seems to
me it provides a secure environment for classified or
clandestine training, but also it has open areas for
You may not want to answer this here, you might want to
wait until our next meeting, but I am wondering why there is
not more done there. We hear a lot of stuff being done in
offices, but there is not a lot of actual training that goes on
in areas that I think we need to look at. I mean, we hear all
the time about chemical weapons that are being placed
underground in other countries. We do not know how to breach
those facilities. Again, you may want to answer this later, but
is there anything going on to consider using this vast area out
there which is now underutilized?
Mr. Freeh. Senator, since 1994 we have had 35 governmental-
wide counterterrorism exercises, mostly involving Federal
agencies and almost always involving some State or local
components. There are 25 exercises planned over the next year
through 1998. I would be happy to explore and discuss with you
specifically not only the site you refer to but other sites in
terms of the advantages and disadvantages for training, but the
exercises which are ongoing and have been ongoing are a central
part of our preparedness, and I would certainly be happy to
explore that with you in the other session.
Senator Reid. In years gone by in the State of Nevada we
have had experience with organized crime from various places
around the country. Has there been any coordination between
organized crime in the United States and any of these terrorist
Mr. Freeh. There have been indications of organized crime
groups dealing with terrorist groups in very limited or
specific matters, both traditional groups in the United States,
Russian mafia groups more recently, and even some connection
with the Italian traditional organized crime groups. But the
connections have been very specific and not, in my view,
suggestive of a combination of efforts.
Senator Reid. Just hire them for a certain job is what you
Mr. Freeh. We have seen some intersections with equipment,
weapons, and information.
Senator Reid. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Stevens. Thank you, Senator. Senator Specter.
Senator Specter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I commend you,
Mr. Chairman, for this hearing. I thought when I came in it was
Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, but it is not. I believe
that terrorism really has become the form of war in our era,
supplanting warfare. We have a defense budget today which is
under $250 billion. We had a defense budget in the mideighties
in excess of $310 billion, which would be about $400 billion
today. What I wonder about is whether we are putting adequate
resources into this war on terrorism. I see the President's
budget request for the Department of Justice counterterrorism
is $417 million. That is a lot of money, and a lot of money has
been added, but I wonder if it is significant.
My own view is that we are not doing nearly enough against
terrorism, and that we are really winking at it. I would like
to make a few observations and then ask two questions. Not much
time within 5 minutes.
I am very distressed about what has happened with the
investigation at Dhahran, where the reports which leak out of
the Department of Defense suggest that nobody is at fault
there, although the fence was 80 feet away and the car bombs
were known to contain 12,000 pound bombs. And yet the
Department of Defense is prosecuting a single woman for having
a relationship with a man who represented himself as single. I
do not know quite what investigation she is supposed to be.
And then we have the green light which Prime Minister
Netanyahu said Arafat gave for the bombing in Israel on March
21, and the next day President Clinton comes out immediately
and says Netanyahu is wrong and Arafat is a man of peace, and I
have asked the Secretary of State what the facts are, was there
a green light.
And we see this fellow, Marzuk, who was held for almost 2
years in the detention center in New York, sent back to Jordan
on a military jet. You wonder what we are doing about terrorism
if Marzuk is let free because he is going to cause too much of
a problem if he is prosecuted. I really never heard the likes
of that. If I was to be concerned as DA of Philadelphia about
trouble makers, I would not have prosecuted most of the people
up in the criminal courts. We are just surrendering to
terrorism when that happens.
We have a statement made by the deputy education minister,
Moshe Pelad, that Arafat had prior knowledge of the bomb plot
in the New York City's World Trade Center. I wrote to you,
Attorney General Reno, about that, and got back a vacuous
answer from a Mr. Andrew Floyce who says that they contacted
Israeli intelligence and do not know anything about it. So I
called up the deputy education minister, and he appears to have
information that he is reluctant to talk about. If Arafat was
involved in the Trade Center bombing, he could be extradited to
the United States. We went to a lot of trouble in the
mideighties to make extraterritorial jurisdiction a factor
The two questions that I have which I would like to address
to the panel generally, I would be interested in Mr. Tenet and
the Attorney General and Director Freeh, is are we devoting
enough resources to fight terrorism? Human intelligence is
woefully lacking in the CIA, something that we have all known
about for a long period of time. What does it take? Because if
we are devoting $500 million to terrorism, we are doing more
than that, of course, when the CIA is added in, but nowhere
near what our defense budget would be, are we doing enough?
And with the FBI, are we really able to handle all that has
been given to the FBI? The FBI I think is a marvelous
institution, and you, Director Freeh, I have said this to your
face and I have said this behind your back and I have said it
to the television cameras, I think you are doing a very good
job. You have got a very tough job, and there are a lot of
problems over there, with the FBI files going to the White
House and with what has happened with the Atlanta pipe bombing
matter and what is happening at the laboratory, and as
assistant DA I used to try cases and the FBI laboratory was
sacrosanct. I think you are doing a good job, but how much can
you do? Do you have enough resources? What does it take to
really do the job?
Because I think that this committee would be prepared to
give you what you need. Senator Stevens is used to
appropriating $310 billion for defense when it is necessary. He
was the chairman of the subcommittee, now he is the chairman of
the full committee. He still is chairman of the subcommittee.
OK, we will call you Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman.
The specific question I have for you is that just before
coming to the hearing I got some information, Director Freeh,
that this man, Hani Al Sayedh, Khobar Towers bombing suspect,
is alleged to have snuck through INS in Boston, that he had an
INS stamp on his passport before going to Canada--let me ask
you that question specifically, Director Freeh, if there is any
substance to that, before I pose the generalized question to
the panel about what would it really take to have a successful
war resource effort?
Mr. Freeh. With respect to your question on Mr. Sayedh, he
transited Boston on the way to Canada. He did not enter the
United States, did not pass immigration, but simply transited
the airport and legally did not enter the United States from an
immigration point of view.
Senator Specter. Well, I will pass on my source to you that
there is supposed to be an INS stamp in his passport at Boston.
Mr. Freeh. I will follow that up, sir.
Senator Specter. I would be interested to know generally
what it would take to really wage a successful war with humint
and whatever we need to do it.
Chairman Stevens. Senator, you may not know, we are going
into a classified session in a minute. I think perhaps part of
that is going to be answered on a confidential basis with the
committee. You can ask the question if you would like, but I
would prefer to explore that in the way we had planned.
Senator Specter. Well, Mr. Chairman, to the extent they can
answer in an open session, I think it would be useful, because
I think the American people need to know really what it takes,
because my instinct is when they hear it from the Attorney
General, the CIA Acting Director, and the FBI Director, they
will appreciate knowing what it is.
Chairman Stevens. Well, I agree with you, but I am not sure
we want all those people out there to know how much we really
are putting into it too, the ones that are not on our side.
Senator Specter. Well, that leaves it up to the witnesses.
Mr. Freeh. Senator, first of all I appreciate all of your
remarks and your support, particularly in the counterterrorism
area which goes back many, many years. We have grown in 3 years
from a $93 million budget to a $243 million budget in
counterterrorism. You and your colleagues were generous enough
last year to give the FBI 1,264 new positions. We are hiring
these people, we are training them, we are putting together
both the human resources and the infrastructure to support the
counterterrorism effort. We are in two or three times better
condition in 1997 than we were in 1993 to undertake our
counterterrorism mission. A mission which, as you point out, is
a huge and growing one. We are in Saudi Arabia, we are taking
fugitives back from Pakistan, we are in many, many places where
we have not been, which is why we need our Legats. I am sorry
Senator Hollings has left.
We are doing everything we can right now to absorb this
vast increase in resources. I would rather absorb that growth
before we start another huge influx of resources.
Senator Specter. We ought to give the money to the CIA
Mr. Freeh. I am sure they could use some resources.
Mr. Tenet. Senator, I would like to respond and just say I
think we are already at war. We have been on a war footing for
a number of years now. I do not think it is a question of money
in our case, I think it is a question of focus, operational
tempo, the aggressiveness with which we pursue this target. I
do not have any doubt about the level of that effort today, and
I would challenge your premise about the lack of human
intelligence against the terrorist target. I think it is
something we should talk about behind closed doors, because I
think that effort is better than it has ever been, and growing.
I think there are successes to prove it in some of the facts we
have laid down in open session.
Chairman Stevens. Let me call on Senator Cochran, and we
will withdraw here after his 5 minutes are over to our
designated room, which is room 124 just down the hall. Those
people who are invited know who they are.
STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES
Senator Cochran. Mr. Chairman, I just have two questions.
One is the extent to which our Federal law enforcement agencies
which are represented here today have what they consider to be
a good working standard or guidelines for deciding when the
Federal agencies should become actively involved, and when
State and local law enforcement authorities can just as well do
the job. This to me is a big challenge now. I know that the
problem, or the challenge, has been made bigger by a
hyperactive Congress passing a lot of laws and federalizing a
lot of activity that might very well be more appropriately,
more efficiently, even more effectively handled at the State
and local level. That is not something that the Federal
agencies like to admit or the Congress likes to acknowledge,
but I think it is really one of the big problems we have now in
trying to more clearly define the dichotomy or the separatism
of the Federal-State relationships.
I started talking after I asked my question, and I should
have stopped. What is the status right now of the Federal-State
relationship, and when do you decide to get involved or not to
get involved? You did not get involved, I do not think, in this
recent Texas encounter, and the State government handled it
very well, it seemed to me, maybe better than the Federal
Government has handled similar situations in the past. Have we
learned from some of those past mistakes, or is this just an
indication of restraint that was well advised?
Mr. Freeh. Senator, you cite a very, very good example, the
Republic of Texas incident, which was handled very well by the
State authorities. That was a circumstance where at the
initiation of that event there was, first, no Federal violation
that we were aware of. Second, the State authorities did ask
for assistance, but very minimal assistance. We provided,
during the course of that incident, hostage negotiators,
technical assistance, photographic assistance, which is what
the Texas authorities requested. There was no need, in the
judgment of the Attorney General and myself, to intervene
federally. That decision turned out to be a prudent course. I
think we look at each situation on a case-by-case basis.
The Freemen situation in Montana was quite different. There
were more people in the Freemen compound than the sheriff had
on his law enforcement force. They asked for Federal
intervention. There were clear Federal violations. There were
Federal charges. It was a situation where the State authorities
requested Federal assistance, and we determined it was
appropriate to intervene.
But we have great confidence in our State and local
partners. There are over 600,000 State and local officers
around the country. But 50 percent of the police forces have
under 10 sworn officers. It is in those particular areas where,
with the addition of Federal charges, we can bring our
resources to bear.
I think you have seen and will see restraint on our part. I
think we have learned from past episodes, but we will not
hesitate to intervene federally when it is appropriate to do
Senator Cochran. Madam Attorney General.
Ms. Reno. You are looking at a former State prosecutor that
sometimes resented the Feds coming in and telling us what to
do. So what we have tried to do, Director Freeh, the Director
of the Marshals Service, Mr. Gonzales, and Administrator
Constantine, and I have reached out to the U.S. attorneys and
to the special agents in charge in the field saying we want to
form a partnership with State and local law enforcement. There
will be some things they do better, some things we do better,
sometimes we need to give them information or provide them
expertise or equipment. But we are not in this to claim credit,
we are not in this for the turf. We are in it to see that it be
done the right way consistent with what is in the best interest
of the case and the best interest of the community.
I think it has been working, both in the examples that
Director Freeh cites and in our whole effort against violence
in this country. In many instances the State and local
prosecutors will proceed with the case with information that we
furnished them, because they can get as good a result. In other
instances they will ask us to do it, but we try to consult with
them and do it in a collegial way.
ENACTMENT OF LAWS
Senator Cochran. Thank you. My second question is related
to the fact that we tend to pass laws creating Federal crimes
out of State and local crimes. My question is how does this
operate to take away funds, resources, attention from doing the
things that is the subject of this hearing today, which to me
seems to be an overriding concern in many cases, and only the
Federal agencies represented here are equipped and authorized
to really handle?
We just saw the House, for instance, pass this juvenile
justice reform bill. At first blush it seems to me to make
Federal crimes out of juvenile crimes in areas where it is
really arguably not necessary. But we are going to take a look
at the bill and see whether or not it is a positive and
constructive act to try to do something that should be done
about juvenile justice, or whether it just adds another layer
of illegality or prohibition at the Federal level that already
exists at the State and local level that could better be
To what extent do you think you will be required to assign
resources, people, and budget dollars that are hard to come by
to this and have it taken away from antiterrorism activities?
Ms. Reno. The way we have tried to approach everything that
we do when there is concurrent jurisdiction is to say who can
do it best, and in many instances--and we consult with the
State and locals in determining who can do it best, if they are
equipped to do it--and we recognize that street crime and youth
crime is basically a local function. There will be exceptions.
In the Indian country, we have got to address Federal laws
to make sure that they are appropriately responsive in a
balanced, thoughtful way to address issues of youth crime,
because we have the primary responsibility. But with respect to
most of this country what we say is we can do some things that
the locals cannot do, and they are much more sensitive to so
many of the issues and to many of the witnesses and the
sources, and they have some advantages that we do not have. Let
us work together.
If it is a crime that cuts across State jurisdictions so
that we are the only ones that can bring the significant enough
case to a result and a penalty that fits the crime, then let us
do it, because it cuts across district lines. If it is
something that is intensely local, let them do it. If it is one
sheriff with a terrible crime and he has got two deputies and
no expertise and says please, for heaven's sake, help me, this
is a dangerous offender, and we have got jurisdiction, we want
to work with him. But we want to do it consulting with the
State and locals in a partnership to make sure that we do not
duplicate resources, that we use it in the wisest way possible,
and then what is in the best interest of solving the crime and
of helping the community.
Senator Cochran. Thank you. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE QUESTIONS
Chairman Stevens. Thank you very much. We have held this
hearing ahead of the time we are called upon to make our
allocations under the budget resolution we hope will be adopted
soon. Any additional questions we have to ask will be submitted
Thank you very much.
[The following questions were not asked at the hearing, but
were submitted to the Department for response subsequent to the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Questions Submitted by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
Question. Several years ago, this subcommittee put additional
funding into the budget to enhance federal efforts to prevent illegal
fundraising in the U.S. on behalf of organizations, such as the ill-
famed Hamas organization, that support terror to undermine the Middle
East peace process. The funding was intended to bolster efforts to
promote greater enforcement of Executive order 12947, which is listed
as ``Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt
the Middle East Peace Process.'' How are you faring in efforts to crack
down on illegal fundraising in this country?
Answer. The FBI works in concert with the U.S. Department of the
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to identify illegal
fundraising activity in the United States. Where possible, the FBI
contributes information of a criminal nature on illegal fundraising to
OFAC for specific law enforcement action. We closely monitor
international terrorist organizations in the United States through
extensive investigation. The FBI utilizes all of its investigative
authorities in our overall strategy to disrupt the criminal activities
of international terrorist organizations in the United States.
Question. Are less funds being raised illegally in this country
today than two years ago? Or more?
Answer. The majority of funds raised in the United States are for
benevolent, charitable, and relief efforts to the needy. The FBI
continues to focus on the diversion of such monies to support the
military wings of terrorist organizations. The FBI cannot initiate an
investigation on the premise of fund raising alone, unless criminal
activity/intent is present. The FBI has intensified its investigative
efforts directed at international terrorism groups to detect all
Questions Submitted by Senator Harry Reid
Question. The threat of terrorism from weapons of mass destruction,
particularly those associated with easily produced chemical or
biological devices, has increased in recent years and is now a problem
of world wide significance. Even so, the United States is still not
obviously prepared to meet this threat. Please discuss the scope and
status of national preparedness to respond to terrorism and its
Answer. Pursuant to the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
Act of 1996, the National Security Council (NSC) was tasked to generate
a report for the President to transmit to Congress that provides an
assessment of the capabilities of the Federal Government to prevent and
respond to domestic terrorist incidents involving Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMD), and to support State and local prevention and
response efforts. The FBI, in coordination with Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and with input from other crisis/consequence
management agencies, provided responses to Sections 1411, 1416 and 1443
of the Act. The President sent the Policy Functions/Operational Roles
of Federal Agencies in Countering the Domestic Chemical/Biological
Threat Report to Congress on January 21, 1997. This report describes
the respective policy functions and operational roles of Federal
agencies in countering the threat posed by the use or potential use of
biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
Question. Studies and expert witnesses testify to lack of readiness
on the part of first responders to manage the full spectrum of threats
they might face in the event of a terrorist attack. Findings indicate
the need for national training sites with facilities to support
realistic training and exercises simulating attacks by weapons of mass
destruction. The sites would presumably provide both urban and suburban
environments with permitted releases of dangerous substances or their
simulants. What is being done by the administration to define the
facilities, areas, and requirements for realistic training and
exercises? Is there a comprehensive national review of existing
facilities that could be designated for this task?
Answer. Section 521(b)(2) of Public Law 104-132, the ``Anti-
Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996,'' states that ``the
President shall establish an interagency task force to determine the
feasibility and advisability of establishing a facility that recreates
both an urban and suburban environments in such a way as to permit the
effective testing, training, and evaluation in such environments of
government personnel who are responsible for responding to the use of
chemical and biological weapons in the U.S.''
When the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici legislation mandating first responder
training was enacted, it was thought initially that the best approach
to meet this need was through establishment of national training.
However, after consultation with a group of expert first responders
from the State and Local police and fire communities, the Department of
Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice and the other members of the
Senior Interagency Coordinating Group on Terrorism (SICG) have
concluded that the concept of training first responders in 120
localities in the United States initially should focus on ``training
the trainers,'' with the ultimate goal of developing communities to a
point where they can train themselves.
By October 1, 1997, the FBI will assist DOD in assessing the
training needs of 27 cities, and will provide actual training and
course materials to the trainers for 8 of these cities. These trainers
will incorporate the materials into the training provided to the first
responders from other communities. The training of the trainers for the
other 19 cities will occur in fiscal year 1998. Assessments of the
training needs of the other 91 cities will also be made in fiscal year
1998 and fiscal year 1999. Appropriate exercises will be conducted to
test the effectiveness of such training. The FBI is also considering
``distance learning'' through multiple down link sites to train
hundreds of responders at the same time in an interactive environment.
The current concept of a national training center poses more questions
than answers at this time. Thus, the concept needs much more work
before the FBI and the Department of Justice can support it. The
concept of a national training site remains an option. However, the
apparent cost effectiveness of ``training the trainers'' either in
their respective cities or possibly through ``distance training'' makes
this approach a more desirable option to pursue at this time.
CONCLUSION OF HEARING
Chairman Stevens. I believe that the rest of the questions
we have to ask of these witnesses are matters that really touch
and concern the national security of this country, therefore,
we will move it to room 124 in this building, the Dirksen
Building. It will be a classified hearing.
[Whereupon, at 3:32 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, the hearing was
concluded, and the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene
subject to the call of the Chair.]
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